Saturday, 9 February 2019

Messier lifts Stars past Hounds

Ashley Messier reacts to her winning goal for the Stars.
    In a tight and physical game, Ashley Messier delivered the biggest blow with a rocket shot to deliver the Saskatoon Stars another victory.
    Facing the Notre Dame Hounds in a Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League regular season game at Merlis Belsher Place, the Stars entered the third period locked in a 0-0 tie.
    With nine minutes to play in the third period, Messier, who is skilled offensive defender, took a pass from defensive partner Emily Holmes, broke down the right wing of the Notre Dame zone and roofed home a rocket shot past Hounds star netminder Kaitlyn Ross. The 16-year-old’s tally was the only marker of the contest as the Stars held on for a 1-0 victory.
    “I just got the pass from Emily (Holmes) and went high,” said Messier. “I know that her glove is really good, so I just tried to stay away from that.”
    While Saturday’s encounter marked the first time the Stars and Hounds met in the regular season, they faced each other in the final of the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Tournament last Dec. 9. 
The Stars celebrate Ashley Messier’s winning goal on Saturday.
    As Notre Dame hosted that prestigious event, the Hounds were the host squad.
    The Stars prevailed in that contest 3-1, and Messier said the way Saturday’s game played out felt familiar to that tournament championship encounter.
    “It was pretty similar to our one at Mandi,” said Messier. “I would say they are always low scoring and hard fought games and that was just another one today.”
    Ross was outstanding in the Hounds net turning away 28 shots to take the setback in goal.
    Arden Kliewer turned away all 19 shots she faced picking up her sixth shutout win of the season in goal for the Stars. She has nine shutouts in her SFMAAAHL career.
Ashley Messier has 30 points this season for the Stars.
    Messier said the Stars were trying to do their best to screen Ross and make her move side to side to produce better scoring chances.
    “(We have to) make sure we do get the shots through, because they are good at blocking up top as well,” said Messier. “(We have to) make sure we have people at the net to get it in, because they are not always going to be really nice goals against a goalie like this.”
    Before Messier scored, the Stars looked like they were going to break the scoreless tie, while working on the power play. Stars captain Grace Shirley got the puck at the right side of the Notre Dame net, and she rang a backhand off the post.
    Shortly after Shirley’s chance with the game still tied at 0-0, the Hounds had a chance to score during a mad scramble in front of the Stars net, but Notre Dame couldn’t get the puck into the Saskatoon goal.
Kaitlyn Ross made 28 saves in goal for the Hounds.
    The Hounds checked the Stars incredibly tight, and Messier said Notre Dame clogged things up, when the Saskatoon skaters tried to bring the puck up through centre ice.
    “I would say that it is a more physical game, and the refs were letting a lot go, which was fine,” said Messier. “They (the Hounds) are patient and they trap.
    “They do set up a trap, so it is kind of hard to get around on, but we got there today.”
    Individually, Messier is having her best season. The 16-year-old third-year veteran has career highs in goals (five), assists (25) and points (30). She stayed modest taking her career highs in stride.
    “It is good,” said Messier. “It is nice to know that you are improving or doing better.
Captain Grace Shirley fires a shot on goal for the Stars.
    “It is not the most important thing, but it is nice.”
    With the win, the Stars improved to 24-1. They came into Saturday’s game having already locked up first place in the SFMAAAHL.
    The Hounds saw their five game winning streak come to an end as they fell to 11-10-3.
    The two sides go at it again on Sunday at 2:15 at Merlis Belsher Place.
    Following that game, the Stars close their regular season by traveling to Wilcox to play the Hound in two respective games on Feb. 16 and 17.
    Messier said playing the Hounds four straight times will help the Stars gear up for the post-season.
    “I’m assuming there will be a lot more games like this,” said Messier. “It is going to be hard fought right to the very end, which is going to be good for us going into playoffs.”

Bears’ Soyko moves to 10th on SFMAAAHL career scoring list

Abby Soyko has 123 career regular season points.
    Prince Albert Northern Bears captain Abby Soyko hit a big personal milestone on Saturday.
    The skilled 17-year-old forward moved alone into 10th place on the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League’s career regular season scoring list.
    Soyko hit the milestone teaming up with sister Allie Soyko to set up Kate Ball for the Bears first goal in a 11-0 victory over the Weyburn Richardson Pioneer Gold Wings at Crescent Point Place in Weyburn.
    Abby Sokyo also picked up a goal for a two-point night in the win. Over five seasons, Soyko has appeared in 134 regular season games recording 62 goals and 61 assists for 123 career points.
    She is two points clear of Taylor Woods and Emma Waldenberger, who sit tied for 11th and 12th spot on the all-time regular season scoring list.
    Woods appeared in 84 regular season games for the Notre Dame Hounds from 2008 to 2011 recording 55 goals and 66 assists for her 121 points. Waldenberger played 109 regular season games for the Regina Rebels from 2010 to 2011 posting 60 goals and 61 assists for her 121 points.
    Soyko is the Bears all-time leader in career goals and points.
Scout Anderson picked up her first career shutout on Saturday.
    In Saturday’s clash between the Bears and Gold Wings, 17-year-old forward Miranda Heidt had a pair of goals and five assists for the Bears. Jaydn Kushniruk had a pair of goals and two assists for Prince Albert, while Jasper Desmarais had a goal and three assists for the Bears.
    Ball finished with a pair of goals and an assist. McKenzie Mayo, Paige Dawson and Haley Kicia rounded out the Bears scoring with singles.
    Scout Anderson, who is a 14-year-old rookie, made 24 saves to earn her first career SFMAAAHL regular season shutout for the Bears (16-8-2). Daneka Dawson turned away 39 shots to take the setback in goal for Gold Wings (1-24-1).
    The Bears return to action on Friday, when they host the Regina Rebels at 7 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena in Prince Albert.
    Weyburn travels to Swift Current this coming Saturday to face the Diamond Energy Wildcats at 7:45 p.m. at the Fairview Arena.

Prairie Fire upset Wildcats 5-2

Allison Hayhurst had a goal and an assist for the Prairie Fire.
    The Melville Prairie Fire brought an end to the Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats eight-game winning streak with a big upset victory.
    On Saturday at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex in Swift Current, the Prairie Fire built a 2-0 lead after the first period, a 3-0 advantage after the second period and expanded their edge to 5-0 in the third. The Wildcats responded with two goals to make the final 5-2 in Melville’s favour.
    Starla Mann scored twice for the Prairie Fire, while fifth-year veteran defender Allison Hayhurst had a goal and an assist.
    Megan Hayhurst and Heather Fiske rounded out Melville’s scoring with singles.
    Sara Kendall and Kenedee Klevgaard replied with singles for the Wildcats.
    Cheyenne Jamieson made 28 saves to pick up the win in goal for the Prairie Fire (9-15-1).
    Amaya Girauder started and took the setback in goal for the Wildcats (14-10-1) turning away 15-of-20 shots sent her way. Harper Davey turned away all five shots she faced in relief entering the contest in the third period after Melville’s fifth goal.
    Wildcats star captain Taylor Lind, who leads the SFMAAAHL scoring race and is the circuit’s second all-time leading scorer, was held without a point for just the second time this season.
    The Prairie Fire and Wildcats go at it again on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. at the Fairview Arena in Swift Current.

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