Sunday, 19 March 2017

The dream is alive like in 2009 for Prince Albert Northern Bears

Stars face elimination in SFMAAAHL championship series

Abby Soyko pats Camryn Amundson on the head.
    PRINCE ALBERT - Often the difference in a championship series is who can come through in the clutch, and Prince Albert Northern Bears forward Camryn Amundson is proving to be a clutch player.
    With the Bears locked in a 1-1 tie with the visiting Saskatoon Stars just over seven minutes into the second period in Game 2 of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League championship series, the 16-year-old product from Debden, Sask., came through with the key play that made the difference in the game. 
    While the Bears were killing a penalty, Amundson got in deep on the forecheck in the Saskatoon zone, caused a turnover, and wired home a short-handed goal that Stars netminder Arden Kliewer had no chance on.
    That goal gave the Bears a 2-1 victory a very vocal and appreciative crowd at the Art Hauser Centre. The Stars could never find the equalizer from that point despite their best efforts, which included a frantic scramble in front of the Prince Albert net with about a minute remaining in the third period.
    The victory also gave Prince Albert a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League championship series.
Camryn Amundson (#9) battle Willow Slobodzian  (#20) for the puck.
    The Stars, who have won the SFMAAAHL title in each of the last two years, will try to avoid elimination in Game 3 back at the Agriplace Arena in Saskatoon on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
    Prince Albert will be attempting to its second league championship. The Bears last championship win came back in 2009.
    Amundson, who was named the SFMAAAHL’s most sportsmanlike player this season, was also money in two critical moments during the Bears 5-1 victory in Game 1 of the league title series on Thursday in Saskatoon. In that contest, the speedy forward set up Story Navrot’s game-winning short-handed goal.
    Later in that same contest, Amundson fired home a knuckleball shot that gave her team a 4-1 lead and solid command of that contest leading to a 5-1 win.
    Sunday’s Game 2 clash in Prince Albert was fairly evenly played with a few momentum swings. At the 7:51 mark of the opening frame, the Bears opened the scoring when star centre Abby Soyko netted a power-play goal.
Stars centre Kianna Dietz (#12) puts a backhand shot on goal.
    The Stars answered back 93 seconds later with an even strength point-shot goal from Chace Sperling to force a 1-1 tie.
    Saskatoon had two huge chances to go ahead before the opening frame ended. First, centre Kianna Dietz had a close in backhand opportunity, but she was robbed by Bears netminder Brooklyn Elek.
    A short time later, Stars forward Anna Leschyshyn broke in alone on the Prince Albert goal, but Elek turned away her drive as well.
    Early in the second, Dietz rang a shot off the post of the Prince Albert goal. That set the stage for Amundson to net the winner minutes later.
Centre Abby Soyko brings the puck up ice for the Bears.
    Kliewer had a solid outing making 21 saves to take the loss in goal for the Stars. Elek turned away 18 shots to pick up the win in net for the Bears.
    If the Stars came back to rally for three straight wins to take the SFMAAAHL title, they would be only the second club in the 11-year history of the league to accomplish that feat.
    Prince Albert is the only team in the history of the SFMAAAHL to rally back down 2-0 in the best-of-five league final to take the series 3-2. The Bears pulled that off in 2009 against the Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats.
    The Stars have the players who have a history of making plays in the clutch to give them the ability to rally back. Saskatoon needs their standouts to come through, or the Bears will be bringing the Fedoruk Cup back to “Hockey Town North.”

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