St. Albert Slash

BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – McKenzie Hewett tied the game twice in the last eight minutes before Jaden Bogden scored the winner in the shootout, helping the St. Albert Slash to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Pionnières de Lanaudière at the 2018 Esso Cup on Sunday afternoon.

It’s the second game in a row the Slash have worked overtime at Canada’s National Female Midget Championship; they beat the Harfangs du Triolet 1-0 in an extra period to win the national title last spring.

After Camryn Drever turned away Mégane Quirion on the first Lanaudiere shot, Bogden raced in and went five-hole on goaltender Sarah Vanier to give St. Albert an early lead.

Another Drever save was followed by a Tyra Meroupolis goal, and saves off Ann-Frédérik Naud and Maya Labad clinched the two points for the Pacific Region champions.

The game was a goaltending duel for the first 50 minutes, with Drever – who allowed just one goal in five games at the Esso Cup last year – and Vanier keeping the game scoreless well into the third period.

Penalty trouble doomed the Slash in the final frame; they took four minors in a span of three minutes, and Labad opened the scoring with a one-timer on a two-man advantage for the Pionnières.

But Hewett answered quickly, zipping down the right wing and beating Vanier over the glove.

Naud restored the Lanaudière advantage just 70 seconds after that, finishing a pretty cross-crease feed from Quirion, only for Hewett to jump all over a fortuitous bounce off the end boards and tuck in the 2-2 goal with 2:27 remaining.

Both teams had their chances in the three-on-three overtime, but Drever and Vanier again did their parts to get the game to the shootout – the first since Richelieu beat Rocky Mountain in the semifinals in 2016.

St. Albert won’t see the ice again until the final game of the day Monday when it takes on host Metro Boston Pizza (7 p.m. AT), while Lanaudiere will have a much shorter turnaround; it faces the Saskatoon Stars in the early game (12 p.m. AT).