Maddie Shwaluk celebrates here shootout winner versus the CJS Olympiens Monday night at Stride Place in Portage. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
A no quit attitude can make a big difference.
The PCI Saints were victorious after coming back to beat College Jeanne-Sauve in a shootout - their second victory against the Olympiens this season - in Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League action at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie Monday night.
“We talked about finding an extra gear to beat these tougher teams and they found it here today. We were right with them in chances and shots and we just had some bad bounces that didn’t go our way,” says Jo-Anne Clark-Gillespie, Saints head coach. “We felt we were in good position, when you’re going up against a top team in the league and not getting outplayed.”
The Saints fell behind in the first period when the Olympiens scored with three minutes remaining in the frame. The girls fought hard to keep CJS off the board in the second, trading chances at both ends of the ice. PCI was able to capitalize on a power play to start the third period when Madison Ballantyne sat in perfect position in front of the Olympiens net to tip in Tryniti Mercier’s point shot to tie the game at one.
Five minutes of overtime seemed like another entire period, as again both teams traded odd-man-rushes at opposite sides of the rink. The Saints and Olympiens each had multiple chances but both goaltenders stood tall. Only one shooter was able to find twine in the shootout and it was Saints forward Maddie Shwaluk. She went bar-down on the glove side to win the game as the third and final shooter. Morgan Klassen made 29 saves for the victory.
“We’ve moved the puck well on the power play this year, and we get lots of shots from the point,” adds Gillespie. “It was nice to see Madison (Ballantyne) score the goal in front. She worked hard to get that goal and it’s something we need to keep up.”
The Saints are now off until the New Year when they visit Sturgeon Heights in Winnipeg on January 9.