Closing The Year With A Bang

Photo by Teri Di-Lauro

Laura Stacey and Jess Jones did not dress for the weekend, along with Nicole Kosta who remains out of the lineup. Alexis Woloschuk played forward in this series.

Game One

Erica Howe and Mariah Fujimagari got the calls in net for their teams, and play opened with lost of north-south movement. Nicole Brown sent a shot just wide on the Blades’ net, and Howe followed it up with a string of good saves. Laura Fortino would open the scoring half-way through the period on a great backdoor play from Kelly Gribbons and Ailish Forfar.

Jenna McParland thought she had a goal near the end of the period, but the referee rules that the puck did not cross the goal line. The opening frame ended with Markham up 1-0.

The second period opened with a great shift in the O-zone from Victoria Bach, Brown, McParland, and D-pair Fortino and Megan Bozek which lead to a scramble in front of the net, but the puck could not find its way past Fujimagari. Lauren Williams took the first penalty of the game for hooking and the Blades went on the kill. Before Markham could get going, Kristen Richards went to the box for the same infraction less than a minute later. During 4-on-4, Jocelyne Larocque broke the puck out of the defensive zone with a pass up to Brooke Webster. With a short pass to Bach, she took it into the zone driving to the net and picked the top corner of the net to widen the Thunder’s lead.

A few more chances on the Blades net were turned aside before the period closed.

The third frame began with Jessica Convery taking over the Worcester net, and the line of Bach, Brown and McParland went right back to work. Storming the net, Bach would go to the far post, throw the puck into the crease and Brown would get a touch before McParland buried it behind Convery.

A lot of 4-on-4 action weaved through the final 20 minutes with Shannon Hickey going to the box for tripping, shortly followed by Jamie Lee Rattray for cross checking. A while later after both players had returned to the ice, Bozek and Demi Crossman sat for coincidental slashing minors. After returning to even-strength with no change in the score once again, Rattray picked off a centering attempt from the Blades and went streaking down the ice, throwing the puck top shelf over Convery’s glove.

Not too long after, McParland thought she had yet another goal but the referee deemed that it was kicked into the net. The Blades then cut the Thunder lead to 4-1 off the stick of Courtney Turner assisted by Meghan Grieces and Nicole Anderson. Before the game ended, a scrum at Howe’s net lead to Richards and Crossman sitting for two minutes for coincidental roughing after the whistle calls. The ensuing 4-on-4 play would lead nowhere for both teams and Markham would win the game with a score of 4-1.

Game Two

Liz Knox and Lauren Dahm started in net for the second game of the weekend. Markham started off with a bang, as the line of Bach, Brown and McParland began right where they left off, scoring three times in the opening six minutes of the game. McParland opened the scoring, assisted by Brown and Bach, then Brown followed up with a goal of her own assisted by Bach and McParland. McParland scored her second of the game just over four minutes after her first, assisted by Bach. The Blades once again took the first penalty, this time for high-sticking called on Meghan Turner. Nothing would materialize for the Thunder, who then ended up on the penalty kill themselves as Forfar sat for tripping. Knox and the PK unit were up to the task, and Bach would up the score to 4-0 once the game returned to full strength, with assists given to Brown and Ella Matteucci. Gina Repaci was next in line for the penalty box, called for body-checking. Knox made a huge pad save and killed off the penalty, and she flashed the glove to keep the score 4-0 going into the first intermission.

The second opened with Dahm making huge saves on Brown and Bach, but it was Webster who would break through, scoring her first goal as a member of the Thunder, assisted by Becca King. At the halfway mark of the game, Jetta Rackleff took over the net for the Blades and promptly robbed Taylor Woods with her stick. The rest of the period would play out with chances for both sides, but no scoring.

Early in the third, the Blades flipping the puck over the glass, leading to a Thunder power play, but nothing would come of the advantage. Webster scored her second of the night, unassisted, at 12:36. Rattray followed it up with a great snipe on Rackleff, but she was able to get her glove on it. King was cited for body-checking, and the post made a great save to kill off the penalty. Unfortunately, Morgan Turner potted a goal off a pass from Meghan Turner to make it 6-1 as the game was winding down. One last chance on the power play came for Markham when Courtney Turner sat for hooking, but time would expire. The Thunder would take the win, which marked Knox’s 40th regular season win.