St. Marys U-14 Snipers played host to the Exeter/Seaforth Explosion on Saturday at the PRC.
Snipers were looking to close out the month unbeaten. They entered the game in second place in the WRRL Red Division standings, just two points behind league-leading Mitchell. Exeter/Seaforth came in just two points behind the Snipers, so a close battle was expected.
The Explosion opened the scoring just three minutes into the contest, beating goalie Arielle Barber for an early 1-0 lead. Play was evenly matched for the remainder of the half with shots on goal 18–15 in favour of Exeter/Seaforth, but neither side could find the back of the net despite both teams having two powerplay opportunities.
In the second half, Snipers were on a powerplay when Jillian Sterkenburg grabbed the ring, circled the net, and scored a beautiful top-corner goal — knotting the score at 1–1 on just the second shot of the period for St. Marys. Unfortunately, this goal seemed to ignite the Explosion as they exploded for three goals in a span of four minutes to open up a 4–1 lead.
During this stretch, Snipers were outshot 16–0. It wasn’t until there were five minutes remaining that St Marys resumed their offensive attack. A delayed Explosion penalty produced a quick flurry of shots on the Exeter/Seaforth netminder. Play was finally whistled dead, and the Snipers continued to press causing another Explosion penalty. With the two-man advantage, Anaya Larmer scored, pulling St. Marys to within two at 4–2. However, Exeter/Seaforth added a late goal with 31 seconds remaining to take the game 5–2.
Barber was outstanding in net, turning away 36 of the 41 shots she faced, including: one breakaway, an incredible pad save, and a truly impressive diving stick save.
Next up: The U-14 Snipers have back-to-back home games in two weeks as they host Wellington North on Feb. 9 and Elora Fergus on Feb. 10 at the PRC.