Team goes 10-1-1 in 12 post-season games to date
By Pat Payton
The McPhail’s Pet Store Bantam ‘C’ girls are enjoying a great playoff run.
This past Sunday, Brittany (Sterkenburg) Petrie’s charges skated to a 3-1 win over the Lady Sting in Sarnia. It gave St. Marys (6-1-1) first place in the league playoff standings after eight round-robin games, and a berth in the WOGHL Bantam ‘C’ Division 1 championship series against either West Oxford Inferno or Bluewater Hawks. Petrie’s squad will get home-ice advantage in that final series.
In Sunday’s road game, Emily Shrubsole led the way with two goals–including the winner.
The McPhail’s Bantams also recently played four qualifying games in playdowns, winning all four, to earn a spot in the year-end Provincials in Vaughan, April 5-8. St. Marys defeated South Huron 3-0, West Huron 3-0, Mitchell 3-1 and Lucknow 4-1 to post a 4-0 record in the four qualifiers against Huron-Perth opponents.
In their 12 playoff games to date (league and Provincial qualifiers), the McPhail’s squad out-scored their opponents 27-4. In that six-week stretch, they chalked up six shutout victories and another game ended in a 0-0 tie.
Comeback win last Thursday
At the PRC last Thursday night, the McPhail’s Bantams battled back from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat the Sarnia Lady Sting 3-1.
Led by centre Lydia Taylor, the hardest-working player on the ice, the Rock girls set the pace with a strong forechecking attack. After the home team held a wide territorial edge early, it was the Sting who opened the scoring on their first good chance. Lili Gagne gave Sarnia a 1-0 lead at 5:20 of the first period, scoring from a scramble in front of St. Marys goalie Emma Luyten.
The Rock pulled even at 5:22 of the middle frame when Julia Cameron–who played a strong game–connected with a sharp-angled shot after breaking in on left wing. Taylor and Emily Shrubsole drew assists.
With 6:05 remaining in the third, captain Taylor pounced on a Cameron rebound and put the McPhail’s crew ahead to stay. Defenceman Megan Morning also picked up an assist. The goal came just seconds after Cameron had broken in and just failed to convert her own rebound.
After the Sting pulled their goalie for a sixth attacker in the final minute, Madison Aarts clinched the win with an empty-netter with 22 seconds left on the clock. Audrey Littlejohn assisted.
The teams combined for three minor penalties, but none of the goals came on powerplays.
Also contributing to the win were the St. Marys defencemen, who played a solid game around goaltender Luyten.
“We play as a team, right from our goalie to our forwards, and we really pressure that puck,” coach Petrie replied when asked what her Bantams are doing well when they’re playing well.
–The 2017-18 McPhail’s squad is comprised of all first-year Bantam girls. Goalie Emma Luyten is still Peewee age.