Sunday, 24 March 2019

Arnold OT hero for Stars in Game 1 of SFMAAAHL final

Calli Arnold netted the OT winner for the Stars on Saturday night.
    Calli Arnold stepped into the spotlight for the Saskatoon Stars on Saturday night.
    The 15-year-old sophomore winger netted the winning goal at the 3:26 mark of overtime to give the Stars a 2-1 victory over the Regina Rebels in Game 1 of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League championship series at Merlis Belsher Place. Game 2 of the best-of-five series is slated for Monday at 7:45 p.m. at the Co-operators Centre in Regina.
    Arnold’s goal was her first tally of the playoffs with veteran linemates Anna Leschyshyn and Joelle Fiala picking up assists.
    Going into the post-season, Arnold, who is from Dodsland, Sask., had a breakout out year netting 12 goals and 15 assists appearing in all of the Stars 28 regular season games.
Chantel Weller made 29 saves in goal for the Rebels on Saturday.
    The Stars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in Saturday’s contest as offensive-defender Ashley Messier netted a power-play goal at the 2:12 mark of the first period.
    Veteran forward Lauren Focht, who turned 17-years-old in January, scored for Regina at the 14:48 mark of the opening frame to force a 1-1 tie.
    The goaltenders for both sides had stellar performances in the SFMAAAHL title series opener.
    Arden Kliewer made 32 saves to pick up the win in goal for the Stars. Chantel Weller turned away 29 shots to take the setback in goal for the Rebels.
    Saskatoon finished first in the SFMAAAHL regular season with a 27-1 mark, while Regina was second with a 17-7-4 record. The Stars won three out of the four head-to-head regular season games with the Rebels.
    Game 3 of the series is set for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place.

Stars alums Clark and Shirley win NCAA title with Badgers

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    Saskatoon Stars alums Emily Clark and Sophie Shirley experienced a career highlight they will never forget.
    On Sunday, the two skilled forwards helped the University of Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team win their fifth National Collegiate Athletic Association title in team history. The top seeded Badgers blanked the second seeded University of Minnesota Golden Gophers 2-0 in the championship game of the women’s Frozen Four at the People’s United Centre in Hamden, Connecticut.
    Clark is a senior forward with the Badgers who was playing in her final NCAA career game. Shirley is a freshman with the Badgers.
    Both were held off the scoresheet in the championship final.
    Sophia Shaver and Annie Pankowski netted singles for the Badgers.
    Kristen Campbell, who is from Brandon, Man., made 27 saves to earn the shutout win in goal for the Badgers, who finished with a 35-4-2 overall record. Alex Gulstene turned away 30 shots to take the setback in goal for the Golden Gophers, who finished with a 32-6-1 overall record.
    Sunday’s win marked the first time the Badgers captured the NCAA title since 2011. A national championship in NCAA women’s hockey was first awarded in 2001.
    The Badgers blanked the fourth seeded Clarkson University Golden Knights 5-0 in a semifinal game on Friday. Clark had an assist in that contest.
    The Golden Knights won the NCAA title in each of the previous two years.
    Both Clark and Shirley are members of Canada’s national women’s hockey team program. Clark skates with the senior women’s team, and Shirley is a member of the national development team.
    Clark, who played for the Stars from 2009 to 2012, missed time at the beginning of the season due to an injured left leg. Skating in her fourth and final season with the Badgers, Clark has appeared in 34 overall games recording 14 goals, 14 assists and a plus-25 rating in the plus-minus department.
    Shirley, who played for the Stars from 2012 to 2015, had had an outstanding rookie season with the Badgers appearing in 41 overall games recording 20 goals, 18 assists and a plus-36 rating.
    The Golden Gophers blanked the Cornell University Big Red 2-0 in Friday’s other semifinal.
    Stars alum Willow Slobodzian is a sophomore defender for the Big Red. In 36 games with the Big Red this season, Slobodzian, who played for the Stars from 2014 to 2017, had four goals, eight assists and is a plus-22.

Willoughby captures Clarkson Cup with Inferno

    Kaitlin Willoughby capped her rookie season as a professional hockey player in championship style.
    The speedy winger helped the Calgary Inferno win the Clarkson Cup as Canadian Women’s Hockey League champions with a 5-2 win over Les Canadiennes de Montreal in the circuit’s title game in Toronto, Ont., on Sunday.
    Willoughby wasn’t able to collect any points in Sunday’s final Ricoh Coliseum, but she still finished a year playing key minutes on a stacked Inferno squad this past season.
    The Inferno led Sunday’s clash with Les Canadiennes 2-0 after the first period and 3-2 after the second framed before cruising to a three-goal victory.
    Zoe Hickel scored twice for the Inferno, while Halli Krzyzaniak, Brianna Decker and Rebecca Johnston had singles. Ann-Sophie Bettez scored both goals for Les Canadiennes.
    Alex Rigsby turned away 25 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Inferno. Emerance Maschmeyer stopped 26-of-30 shots taking the setback in goal for Les Canadiennes.
    The Inferno topped the CWHL regular season standings with a 23-4-0-1 record. Les Canadiennes finished second with a 21-6-0-1 mark.
    Willoughby has appeared in 27 regular season games with the Inferno collecting one goal and five assists. On March 11, the 23-year-old forward from Prince Albert, Sask., who originally hails from Canwood, Sask., captained Canada’s women’s hockey team to a silver medal win at the FISU Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
    Canada fell 2-0 in the gold medal game to the host Russian side. In six games at the tournament, Willoughby had a goal, three assists and was a plus-five.
    Before joining the Inferno, Willoughby was a star for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team from 2013 to 2018 finishing as the squad’s second all-time leading scorer posting 50 goals and 61 assists for 111 points in 132 career regular season games.
    From 2008 to 2013, Willoughby appeared in 96 regular season games with the SFMAAAHL’s Prince Albert Northern Bears piling up 34 goals and 63 assists for 97 points.
    While playing for the Inferno and for Canada at the FISU Winter Universiade, Willoughby is competing her studies in nursing at the U of Saskatchewan.

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