Saskatchewan 3 – Manitoba 2
Dartmouth, N.S. – Fans sat anxiously on the edge of their seats Thursday as Saskatchewan staged a late-game comeback to tie it up against Manitoba 2-2 late in the third, forcing it into a thrilling shootout showdown for a spot in the semifinals.
In the end, Saskatchewan earned its spot in the top four when Taylor Woods (Wilcox, Sask.) skated down the ice in front of a tense crowd to deke out netminder Abby Ryplanski (Winnipeg, Man.), sending the puck soaring over the Manitoba goal line – and sending family and friends wearing their province’s signature green into celebratory hysterics.
It took awhile for Saskatchewan to get into the game, with a penalty putting them down a goal to Manitoba,courtesy of Kristine Grenier (St. Leon, Man.), midway through the first. Jessica Carswell (Winnipeg, Man.) tallied another power-play goal at 6:32 in the second, making it 2-0 going into the third frame.
But Saskatchewan turned the game around in the third, taking advantage of their own power-play to get on the game sheet with a goal from Sarah Spence (Moose Jaw, Sask.). Brooke Wilgosh (Regina, Sask.) contributed the assist to narrow the gap to 2-1.
The inarguable star of the game, Woods evened out the score less than a minute later, with help from Jessica Sibley (Luseland, Sask.) and Olivia Howe (Moose Jaw, Sask.), sending the game into sudden victory overtime. The puck flew up-and-down the ice throughout the final period, but neither team could put it into the opposition’s net, and a nail-biting shootout became the determining factor in which team will move on to the semifinals.
Woods ensured that it will be Saskatchewan facing off in the second semifinal game Friday, set for 7:30 p.m. at the Metro Centre.