Talk about a close one.
The Fort Frances PeeWee Venom almost let the game slip through their fingers but stayed composed to claim the gold medal with a 3-2 win over the Dryden B&B Blazers on Sunday at the Fort Frances Girls’/Women’s Hockey Association’s PeeWee and Bantam “Showcase” at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Piper Miller scored a pair of goals in the first period to stake the Venom to a 2-0 lead.
But Sydney Oltsher tallied an unassisted marker with 3:40 left in the period to trim it to 2-1.
Sophie Armit then evened it 1:35 into the second frame, with Miya West earning the lone assist.
But Fort Frances settled things down, leading to Julia Guertin firing home the eventual game-winner with 3:29 to go in the period.
Dryden had a few good opportunities to tie it in the final frame but Harper Gunderson stood tall between the pipes to preserve the win.
The Venom opened play Saturday with a 6-0 shutout over the Emo Express.
Miller paced Fort Frances with a hat trick while Hayden Allam, Guertin, and Kassidy Gurniak added singles.
Gunderson earned the shutout in net.
Then they followed that up with a 2-0 blanking of the Blazers.
Miller and Emma Bodnarchuk tallied twice just under six minutes apart in the second period to provide the Venom with all the offence they needed.
Gunderson once again earned the shutout.
On the Bantam side, meanwhile, the Fort Frances Borderland Blazers fell 5-1 to the L.O.W. K-Town Snipers (Kenora) in Sunday’s final to finish with a 1-2 record overall.
McKenna Isfeld opened the scoring for the Snipers 2:30 into the first period on an unassisted effort.
MacKenzie Turner and Antonie Skead then tallied less than two minutes apart in the second frame to make it 3-0.
Tatum Glowasky netted the Blazers’ lone goal 4:28 into the final period to trim it to 3-1.
But Chloe Skead (9:32) and Isfeld (9:22) tallied back-to-back to send Kenora to the 5-1 victory.
Faith Reid earned the win for the Snipers while Jersey Masson suffered the loss for Fort Frances.
The Blazers opened play Saturday with a slim 3-2 triumph over the Fort Frances Thunderbolts.
Piper Cross, Makenna Hill, and Glowasky provided the offence for the Blazers.
Elayna Kabel and Martina Woods replied for the Thunderbolts.
Masson earned the win between the pipes while Isabella Fortes was tagged with the loss.
Then they fell by that same score to Kenora, with Isabelle Taylor notching both goals in a losing cause.
For the Thunderbolts, they ended Saturday by being blanked 5-0 by the Snipers, then fell to them once again 5-1 in Sunday morning’s semi-final to finish with an 0-3 record.
Savannah McGinnis scored the squad’s lone goal in the third period.
Up next, the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association will host its annual Novice tournament this Friday through Sunday at the Memorial Sports Centre.