Sports High School Sports

Another loss with a tough road ahead

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

The Dakota Lancers celebrate their empty-net goal to secure the victory over the PCI Saints at Stride Place Wednesday night in the Winnipeg Women's High School Hockey League. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)

The Dakota Lancers celebrate their empty-net goal to secure the victory over the PCI Saints at Stride Place Wednesday night in the Winnipeg Women's High School Hockey League. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)

It’s not going to get any easier heading into playoffs.

The Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) Saints are still looking for their first win of 2018 after falling 4-2 to the Dakota Lancers in Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League action at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie Monday afternoon.

“Dakota’s a good team and we were right there with them. I’m happy with how the girls played,” says Saints' head coach, Jo-Anne Clark-Gillespie. “We’re panicking less, and we have a lot more confidence in our own zone, and we’re competing well in the top division. We just weren’t getting the bounces late in the game when we had chances to tie it up.”

The Saints fell behind early when the Lancers scored late in the first period, then again halfway through the second. Both PCI goals came in the final minutes of the period. Rhiannon Ice scored the first with 1:18 to go, followed by Paige Shwaluk’s team-leading 14th goal of the year to tie the game with 30 seconds left. The Saints took two penalties in the third period and one resulted in a Dakota power play goal which turned out to be the game-winner. The Lancers added an empty net goal late to make it 4-2.

“The girls don’t quit, they work hard, and we’ve been saying they need to do that for a few months,” says Clark-Gillespie. “We’re happy with where we are in the standings right now but we have to work hard to battle with the teams that are higher than us."

Speaking of teams higher in the standings, the Saints visit the first place St. Mary’s Flames Wednesday night, then again to end the season on Feb. 1 in Portage.

 

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