Nova Scotia 2 – Ontario 9
Dartmouth, N.S. – From bullhorns and bells to screams and shouts, the Sportsplex erupted into noise Thursday night when up-and-coming women’s hockey star Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S.) got her stick on the puck and got Nova Scotia on the scoresheet first, just five minutes into the home province’s game against four-time gold medallists Ontario.
With the score in their favour early in the game, the young Nova Scotians seemed energetic and eager as they dug for the puck and skated hard to keep up to a strong Ontario squad, but despite their best efforts, their lead would be short-lived.
Once Ontario gained good control in the offensive zone, there was no stopping the central Canadian girls, with Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ont.) making a quick pass to Brittany Zuback (Thunder Bay, Ont.), who fed Sarah Edney (Mississauga, Ont.) at the point. With a wind up and a shot, Edney fired a rocket straight into the back of the Nova Scotia net to make it 1-1 at 9:27 in the first.
By the time the period was up, Ontario had taken over the lead, with Kayla Raniwsky (Windsor, Ont.) finding the mesh at the 16-minute mark, with the help of Abbey McRae (London, Ont.).
Nova Scotia stayed in the game through much of the second, determined to keep the game close, but when former Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team teammates Emily Fulton (Stratford, Ont.) and goal scorer Kosta combined to make it 3-1 at 12:19, and fellow under-18 player Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont.) added another a mere 40 seconds later, the game swayed greatly in favour of Ontario and Nova Scotia seemed to lose its confidence.
Despite an unassisted goal from Danielle Eustace (Lower Sackville, N.S.), who chipped away out front and tucked the puck past goaltender Amanda Makela (Thunder Bay, Ont.) at 2:15 in the third, Nova Scotia just couldn’t catch up, neither on the ice nor on the scoreboard.
Cayley Mercer (Exeter, Ont.) took a stellar slap shot from the blue line, the puck dinging the crossbar before falling into the net, at 7:45 in the third, with blueliner Jennifer Shields (Ingersoll, Ont.), forward Rebecca Kohler (St. Thomas, Ont.), and forwards Kosta and Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont.) all contributing their own goals within about ten minutes of each other late in the third.
In the end, Ontario skated away with a 9-2 win and a spot in the 4 p.m. semifinal Friday at the Metro Centre.