Saturday, March 07, 2009

Whoooa, that was a close one!

I still haven't quite come down from one of the most tense games I've ever witnessed. Not only did the Storm need to win in order to stay alive but that only meant the would have to play overtime to determine which team advanced to round three.

It was a war out there. There were 14 penalties handed out and all but 2 were in the third period and overtime. The Storm were determined not to be shutout again but it wasn't until late in the second period that Jackie finally found the back of the Dolphin net to give North York a one goal lead. Incredibly they had been held off the scoresheet for 81 straight minutes. At one point in the second period Mari hobbled off the ice with a broken skate blade. She was able to return to the game in the third period on borrowed skates.

By the third period things really began to get nasty. Back to back penalties by Lauren N and Sheri gave the Dolphins a two-man advantage. They scored off the faceoff when a slapshot was tipped in at the side of the net. The flow of the game went back and forth and players on both sides took one penalty after another. However, neither team could take advantage of their powerplay opportunities. The tension just continued to build until with 2:25 remaining in the game Sheri banged the puck into the Dolphin net to regain the lead. With the Etobicoke goalie on the bench for an extra attacker, Mari tapped the puck into the empty need to ensure the 3-1 win.

Both teams started the overtime period with players in the penalty box and in fact the teams only played even strength for the last 99 seconds of the period. After the scoreless overtime period the game went into shootout. First shooter for Etobicoke scored. Lauren N shot first for North York and also scored. Shootout was tied 1-1. The next Etobicoke shooter also scored but Jackie tried deking the goalie and her shot missed the net. Etobicoke was up 2-1. The third Etobicoke shooter was stopped by Bianca. Mari was the final Storm shooter and she beat the goalie to tie the shootout at 2-2.

At this point the shootout becomes a sudden death match. The next Dolphin shooter also was stopped by Bianca. Amanda was the next Storm shooter and she flew in on net and fired a high backhand past the Dolphin goalie to win the shootout 3-2 and win the series.

The Etobicoke team played an aggressive series and did a masterful job shutting down the Storm offense. But the Storm team never game up and battled back from the brink to keep their season alive. The round three opponent is yet to be determined with Mississauga leading Scarborough 3-1 in their series.