Saints slide continues
The Saints look on as the Kodiaks celebrate their game-winner with just over 30 seconds to go in the game. It was PCI's fifth loss in-a-row. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
It’s hard to stay positive when the losses start piling up.
The Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) Saints suffered their fifth straight loss Monday evening when the River East Kodiaks scored with 34 seconds to go, winning 2-1 in Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League CTV Division action at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.
“The reason we were winning at the beginning of the season was that every player was working hard, from the goalie to the last skater on the bench,” says Saints head coach, Jo-Anne Clark-Gillespie. “Now we’re inconsistent and it’s showing. We need that effort every shift or we’ll fall behind, which has been happening.”
The score was tied through the first period as both teams looked equal after 20 minutes of play. The Kodiaks opened the scoring with three minutes to play in the second period after the Saints seemed to lay off the gas in the latter half of the middle frame.
Paige Shwaluk tied the game halfway through the third period with a backhander that beat the Kodiaks netminder over the blocker on the short side, and it lit a fire under the girls. The Saints continued to pressure the away team for the third period, and just when it looked like the home team might find the back of the net to take the lead, River East scored off a broken play to crush the Saints’ hopes of a comeback. Tori Janeczko made 20 saves for the Saints in the loss.
“A loss like that is hard on everyone,” admits Clark-Gillespie. “(Tori) played a good game and we did everything right in our own zone at that point but an unfortunate bounce found its way into the net. The girls are a little down right now but a couple of wins before Christmas break and we’ll be right back in the race.”
Portage has two games left before the Christmas break and currently sit in sixth place. The girls are just one point back of Vincent Massey, and five points back of Selkirk. Dakota leads the CTV Division with 23 points, St. Mary’s is in second with 22, and CJS is in third with 21.
PCI is back in action Thursday when the Saints host Kelvin at the BDO Centre in Portage. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m.