Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by John Tonin

TEAM CELEBRATION – Team Saskatchewan celebrates together after winning the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship gold medal game Sunday at Takhini Arena.

Saskatchewan girls down Manitoba 5-1

It was a battle of the prairie provinces in the first gold medal game at Takhini Arena on Sunday as Saskatchewan and Manitoba squared off in the final contest.

By John Tonin on May 13, 2019

It was a battle of the prairie provinces in the first gold medal game at Takhini Arena on Sunday as Saskatchewan and Manitoba squared off in the final contest.

Saskatchewan got on the board first and did not relent as they skated to a 4-1 victory over Manitoba.

Saskatchewan captain, Story Navrot, won her third NAHC championship and said the team tried to use their speed to their advantage.

“It was just our speed,” said Navrot about the team’s strategy. “We needed to keep our feet moving and create those turnovers. That’s the team’s strength for sure.”

Scout Anderson was between the pipes for Saskatchewan and said the team played sound defensively in front of her.

“They played amazing,” said Anderson. “They did a great job of making sure no one came down on me. We just kept building each other up and making passes we needed and plays we needed to make.”

Anderson got to watch as her team buried four goals in the game and described the feeling from a goalie’s perspective.

“It feels amazing,” said Anderson. “As a goalie, you can only do so much and just for your players to do that for you it just pumps everyone up. It just builds everyone up and more goals go into the net.

“It takes pressure off me but we know we just have to keep building and keep building. If you make a great save they will go and make a great play.”

Saskatchewan was able to get on the board first when Sawyer Norman banged in a rebound off a shot by Anica Gauthier past the Manitoba goalie, Shayna Moore.

Using their speed Saskatchewan generated plenty of scoring chances but Moore was up to the challenge. Seemingly a step behind, Manitoba spent plenty of time in the penalty box.

Saskatchewan was unable to capitalize on their power plays.

The second period was very back-and-forth with both teams getting chances usually on the power play. The second frame had lots of penalties for both sides. The Whitehorse penalty box operators should demand a raise.

It was Saskatchewan who capitalized on the power play. Using the defence as a screen, Kailey Ledoux, unleashed a shot from the left faceoff circle that hit another Manitoba defenceman and went past Moore. Jordyn Bear got the lone assist.

Manitoba continued to play without discipline, they were about to get charged for rent, and Saskatchewan capitalized once again on the power play.

Anna-Leise King took a pass from McKenzie Mayo and unleashed a howitzer from between the circles that beat Moore clean on the glove side.

Manitoba started the third with good pressure and forced Saskatchewan into a penalty early.

They squandered the chance, however, by taking a penalty of their own.

Saskatchewan retook the momentum and got on the board again midway through the fame on a power play. Navrot banged in a rebound off of Moore’s pad. The helpers were from Bear and King.

Manitoba ended Anderson’s shut out bid at the 8:44 mark of the third. Getting in on the forecheck Manitoba won the puck battle. The puck came to Carrigan Umpherville who made no mistake as she slid the puck five-hole on Anderson. Makenzie McCallum got the assist.

Ledoux buried the insurance marker late in the third off a deflection from the point. Bear got the lone assist.

As the game clock ticked towards zero, the Saskatchewan fans, who travel well, began to chant “OLE!” creating the build-up for the final celebration.

The buzzer sounded and the team swarmed upon Anderson as the dog pile fell to the ice.

Comments (1)

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Bernie Earis on May 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

Was really nice to see you made the first goal - congratulations. And am proud that your team brought the gold back to Saskatchewan.

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