Team competing in U-19 division in Snipers ringette tournament this weekend
It was a battle of the undefeated last Thursday evening as St. Marys U-16 Snipers hosted the Mitchell Stingers in WRRL action at the PRC.
Mitchell entered the contest with a 6-0 record, while the Snipers had a 3-0 record in league play. With both teams looking to keep their winning streaks alive, the PRC was buzzing with excitement in anticipation of a thrilling game.
Just 33 seconds into the game, Stingers jumped out to a 1-0 lead beating St. Marys goalie Arielle Barber. Most teams would fall flat after giving up a quick opening goal, but just 19 seconds later Mel Martin tied the score 1-1 after a great feed from Cierra Boyer.
As the crowd cheered with excitement, it quickly fell silent as Mitchell took the lead once more on the ensuing drop–making it 2-1. The play went back and forth before Jillian Cunningham tied it 2-2, with Anaya Larmer picking up an assist at the 11-minute mark. With eight minutes remaining, Jillian Sterkenburg put Snipers up 3-2 on a give-and-go with Sarah Lynch to close out the first-half scoring.
St. Marys narrowly out-shot Mitchell 16-15 in the opening half, and the Snipers knew they must continue to play hard, while passing with purpose, if they wanted the win. Play hard they did, as they dominated the first two minutes of the second half with nine shots on net with three great scoring chances, but the Stingers’ goalie turned them away. At the three-minute mark, a St. Marys turnover out of the defensive end led to a Mitchell rush resulting in the tying goal–knotting the count at 3-3.
Save turns the tide
With nine minutes remaining, and Mitchell attacking, Barber was down on the ice after making the initial stop. The ring bounced out on the rebound right to a Mitchell forward who had an open net. Just when it looked like the Snipers would go down by a goal, Barber dove across the net, making a flying glove save and keeping the score deadlocked.
This was definitely the turning point of the game as St. Marys rushed back up the ice with Larmer, feeding Jessica Burlingham, who then passed to Grace Shearer who scored on a breakaway to give the Snipers a 4-3 lead.
With four minutes remaining, Shearer was sent to the penalty box for body contact. Stingers called a time-out to design a play and returned by pulling their goaltender for a second extra attacker. They were only able to muster one shot on net, before play returned to the Mitchell end where Boyer scored from Shayla Lane to give the Snipers a 5-3 lead and ultimately the win.
Netminder Barber was a key factor in the victory, giving her team the saves when called upon.
This game was supposed to be the first of a home-and-home series, but unfortunately Saturday’s game in Monkton was postponed due to a lack of referees. The game will be rescheduled.
With the win, St. Marys is the only undefeated team at the U-16 level, but still sits in second place behind Mitchell who have more points although they have played three more games than the Snipers.
Upcoming: Next league game for the U-16 Snipers is Thursday, Dec. 12 against London at the PRC. However, some of the U-16s will be competing this weekend in the U-19 division of the St. Marys Snipers’ annual ringette tournament being held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the PRC. Come out and support all your St. Marys teams.