Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Stars lock up first in round robin standings at Esso Cup

Saskatoon improves to 4-0 with 6-0 win over host squad

Grace Shirley had a goal and an assist for the Stars.
    The Saskatoon Stars will be the top stars going into the playoff round at the Esso Cup.
    On Wednesday at the female midget AAA hockey national championship tournament, Saskatoon overwhelmed the host Metro Boston Pizza squad 6-0 and held a 49-6 edge in shots on goal at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre in Bridgewater, N.S.
    With the win, the Stars improved to 4-0 and secured first place in the round robin standings. This marked the first time the Stars have finished first in the preliminary round in three visits to the Esso Cup. Saskatoon finished second in the preliminary round in 2015 at the tournament in Red Deer, Alta., and third in 2016 at the tournament held in Weyburn, Sask.
    The six shots on goal by Metro Boston Pizza marked the lowest number of shots on goal any team has posted in a tournament game in the history of the Esso Cup.
    In Wednesday’s clash with Metro Boston Pizza, the Stars were led by superstar captain Mackenna Parker, who recorded two goals and two assists in the convincing outcome.
Mackenna Parker had two goals and two assists for the Stars.
    Centres Joelle Fiala and Grace Shirley and defender Ashley Messier each had a goal and an assist, while standout right-winger Anna Leschyshyn had a pair of assists.
    Parker scored just 31 seconds into the contest to give the Stars a 1-0 edge. Fiala added a power-play marker at the 13:51 mark of the opening frame to give the Stars a 2-0 lead. Saskatoon held a 12-2 edge in shots on goal over the opening 20 minutes.
    The Stars continued to pin the host side in their own zone in the second period holding a 22-2 edge in shots on goal for the frame. Metro Boston Pizza goalie Brooke Bennett was sensational making 21 saves in the stanza only allowing a goal from Messier, which gave the Stars a 3-0 edge.
    Saskatoon continued to put on the pressure in the third. Skilled left-winger Kaitlin Jockims scored at the 7:41 mark of the third to give the Stars a 4-0 advantage. Parker and Shirley each added a power-play goal to round out the game’s scoring.
    Arden Kliewer made six saves to pick up the shutout win in goal for the Stars. Bennett turned away 43 shots to take the setback in goal for Metro Boston Pizza, who fell to 0-3-1.
Ashley Messier had a goal and an assist for the Stars on Wednesday.
    The six teams at the Esso Cup play in a round robin qualifying round with the top four teams earning spots in the playoff round. The defending champion St. Albert Slash (3-1) from Alberta locked up a playoff spot on Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Northern Subway Selects (1-2-1) from New Glasgow, N.S.
    Saskatoon closes out round robin play against the Selects on Thursday. The Selects go into that contest needing a win to keep their hopes for making the playoff round alive.
    After preliminary round play wraps up on Thursday, the Stars will take part in one of two semifinal games on Friday. The tournament’s bronze and gold medal games are slated for Saturday, and the gold medal final will be shown live at 4 p.m. Saskatchewan time on TSN.
    The Stars are trying to become the first Saskatchewan based team since the Weyburn Gold Wings in 2014 to win the Esso Cup.

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