|The Stars celebrate a third period goal from Jordyn Holmes, right.|
A tougher opponent proved to be no problem at all for the Saskatoon Stars.
The Stars opened their best-of-five Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League semifinal series with a 5-0 victory over the Weyburn Southern Range Gold Wings at the Agriplace Arena on Monday night.
In the quarter-final round, the Stars swept a best-of-five series 3-0 against the Battlefords Sharks, who were 3-23-2 during the regular season. The Stars outscored the Sharks 28-3 in that series.
Weyburn finished fourth overall in the SFMAAAHL regular season with an 18-9-1 record, and the Gold Wings are still expected to give the Stars, who topped the league regular season standings with a 24-4 record, a tough test. The Gold Wings also host the Esso Cup national championship tournament in April.
In Monday’s series opener, the Stars jumped ahead 1-0 at the 11:14 mark of the first period on what appeared to be a lucky break goal by Rayna Jacobson. The officials weren’t sure Jacobson poked the puck in the net during a scrum of sticks around the Weyburn goal, but they awarded a tally after a conference discussion.
With 61 seconds to play in the first, Julia Rongve put the Stars up 2-0 on a wraparound, where the puck just trickled out from under Gold Wings goalie Chantel Burke into the net.
|Mackenna Parker potted the Stars third goal in their win on Monday.|
Mackenna Parker, who was the second leading scorer in the SFMAAAHL, put the Stars up 3-0 early in the second. Abby Shirley converted a fancy passing play from linemates Grace Shirley and Joelle Fiala to give the Stars a 4-0 edge heading into the second intermission.
Jordyn Holmes added Saskatoon’s final goal late in the third.
Emma Johnson made 14 stops to earn her fifth career shutout in SFMAAAHL post-season play for Saskatoon. Chantal Burke turned away 40 shots taking the loss in goal for Weyburn.
The Stars and Gold Wings will go at it again in Game 2 of the series on Friday in Weyburn. Game 3 is set for Sunday at 4:45 p.m. at the Agriplace Arena. If necessary, Game 4 is set for Tuesday, March 15 in Weyburn and Game 5 would be on Wednesday, March 16 at the Agriplace Arena at a time to be determined.
Saskatoon won three of the four games against Weyburn in the regular season.
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