The Fort Frances Pharmasave Wildcats Midget girls’ hockey team travelled to Thunder Bay this past weekend for a 12-team tournament.
The Wildcats were first in their pool, and second overall, after round-robin play but ended up finishing fourth in the tournament when the dust finally settled.
The squad opened play Friday against the Thunder Bay Sharks. They played a hard and fast game, but fell 2-0.
The MVP was goalie Cassie McLellan.
But the Wildcats didn’t look back from there, winning the rest of their round-robin games.
Their second game against the Thunder Bay Hurricanes ended in a 3-2 win.
Thunder Bay came out hard, scoring the first goal at 9:06 of the first period. But Paige Ward, assisted by Nicole Beadle, tied it up at 9:39 of the second period, then Beadle scored unassisted at 7:38 of the third.
Ward, assisted by Chantal Jodoin, rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats at 5:50 of the third.
Thunder Bay made it an exciting finish, though, scoring at 4:33 of the third to creep within one goal.
MVP for the game was Kennadi Herbert.
The Wildcats began play Saturday with a game against the Thunder Bay Bears.
Beadle started the scoring at 3:54 of the first period, assisted by Meagan Beacham. But Thunder Bay came right back with a goal at 3:13.
After the Bears went ahead at 4:30 of the second period, Alison Brown scored at 1:39 of the second to tie it up.
The Wildcats then dominated the third period as the Bears took penalty after penalty, scoring two more unanswered goals.
Beadle got her second of the game, assisted by Ashley Smeeth, before Herbert notched an empty-netter with just .11 second to go.
Jodoin was named the game MVP.
Saturday ended with an exciting game against Nipigon, with these well-matched teams fighting it out to the end.
Tressa Galusha started the scoring, assisted by Beadle and Jodoin, with only three seconds left in the second period.
This fired the girls up for the third and they came out hard, with Ward scoring, assisted by Bridget Jorgenson, only 30 seconds into the period.
Ward then got her second of the game with 3:10 left in the third.
Nipigon spoiled McLellan’s shutout bid with only 11 seconds to go, but it was too little, too late.
Ward earned the well-deserved MVP award.
This left the Wildcats first in their pool and ranked second overall (the top six teams advanced to the playoffs).
Unfortunately, they didn’t fare so well on Sunday starting with their semi-final showdown against the Thunder Bay Sabres.
Thunder Bay opened the scoring at 9:24 of the first period. Ward, assisted by Beadle, tied it up at 4:19 of the first.
But then Thunder Bay broke loose, scoring three goals in a row
Brown, however, kept the Wildcats in it, scoring with just 37 seconds left in the first period to put them down only two goals going into the second.
After a scoreless, penalty-ridden second period, Thunder Bay came out hard and scored only 29 seconds into the third to go up 5-2.
Beadle brought the Wildcats to win two with 3:48 left to play, but that was all they could do.
The game MVP was Jorgenson.
The loss put the Wildcats into the bronze-medal game later Sunday against the Dryden Eliminators, who proved to be more determined to win.
The Wildcats were down 4-0 at the end of the second period when Jorgenson, assisted by Katrina Wreggitt and Beadle, managed to get them on board at 4:51 of the third.
Smeeth was named the game MVP.