Dufault Scores Game Winner in OT to Give Manitoba 3-2 Edge over Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia  2 – Manitoba 3

Halifax, N.S. – In what could arguably have been the most crowd-thrilling women’s hockey game at the 2011 Canada Winter Games thus far, Manitoba power forward Meghan Dufault (Winnipeg, Man.) let a high shot go just 39 seconds into overtime to give her team the 3-2 edge over Nova Scotia during Tuesday night’s matchup at the Metro Centre.

Manitoba fans jumped up in excitement as they watched the replay of Dufault’s goal on the big screen, while the predominantly Nova Scotian crowd began filtering out of the arena in disappointment. Nevertheless, both sides were treated to an edge-of-the-seat experience that had the puck flying up-and-down the ice, and fans exchanging cheers back-and-forth through all three periods of play.

“No-va, Sco-tia!” chanted much of the crowd after Sarah Robichaud (Weymouth, N.S.) opened the scoring in front of family and friends just five minutes into the game on a powerplay.“To-ba!” replied the remaining fans in the stands after forward Kayleigh Wiens replied for Manitoba at 16:23 in the first to tie it up at one-apiece, with help from Shelby Bram (Ste-Anne, Man.), going into the intermission.

But Nova Scotia’s supporters couldn’t be quieted when home province women’s hockey up-and-comer Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S.) took a beautiful pass out front from Erika Pyke (Halifax, N.S.) just 21 seconds into the next period to give her team the 2-1 lead. The Maritime team managed to maintain the edge into the third, but Wiens again replied for Manitoba to even out the score, on a power play at 13:18 into the second.

The enthusiastic crowd watched with intensity as the clock ticked down in the third and the buzzer finally sounded, sending the game into a fourth period. But overtime ended in sudden victory for Manitoba when Dufault snagged the puck and carried it into the offensive zone, sailing it past Nova Scotia netminder  Stefannie Moak (Middle Sackville, N.S.) on her unassisted game winner.

Moak had an impressive game in nets to keep Nova Scotia in the game, making 29 saves total. Alexis Crossley (Dartmouth, N.S.) had two assists on the night.

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