Blades win third tourney of season

Mitch Calvert

It was a weekend to remember for the local Pinewood Blades Bantam girls’ hockey team as they claimed top honours at last weekend’s tournament here.
The squad opened play Friday with a 7-1 win over the Kenora Barbarians, getting six goals from Shae-lynn Smith and one from linemate Taylor Dixon, who also added two assists.
Then against the Hillcrest Hot Shots (Dryden) later Frday, the Blades again took the victory—this time by a 3-1 score.
Dixon, Sydney Jones, and Smith were the goal scorers.
Next up had the Blades facing fellow Fort Frances team, the BDO Dunwoody Stars. The Stars gave them a battle but the Blades eventually pulled out a 3-0 win.
The Blades scored one in each of the three periods (by Smith, Jessica Robinson, and Dixon) while the Stars generated several chances in the third but couldn’t break the goose egg.
Pinewood then closed out the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 3-1 win over the Sport Top Shooters (Dryden). Smith notched two more while Dixon added the other marker.
That set up a semi-final showdown with the Thunder Bay Tigers, which the Blades won 4-0. Dixon scored twice while Robinson and Smith added singles.
With the win, the Blades advanced to the final Sunday afternoon, where they were surprised to meet the Barbarians—the team they had routed in their tourney-opener.
It was a much different story this time around, however, as the Blades escaped with a narrow 3-2 victory.
With the game tied 1-1 through two periods, Dixon won an offensive zone draw directly to Smith at the hash marks, who one-timed the puck past Barbarians’ goalie Kate Roger.
The Barbarians didn’t quit, however, as Caitlin Williams scored on a breakaway just a few minutes later.
But the Dixon-Smith combination would convert once again—this time on a give-and-go with Dixon finishing the play for the game-winner.
“The last two weekends in a row we’ve had exciting games, but the parents said it’s hard on the tickers,” Blades’ coach Glenn Smith laughed. “The girls had fun and that’s the main thing.”
Meanwhile, BDO Dunwoody finished the round-robin portion with ties to Sport Top Shooters (1-1) and the Nip-Rock Elks Rangers (3-3), as well as a 6-4 loss to the Barbarians on Saturday night.
The other Fort Frances team, the Energy Fitness Wild, went 2-0-2 in the round-robin of Pool ‘B’ but lost 1-0 in the semi-finals by the Barbarians, then lost to the Tigers in the bronze-medal game.