Team Alberta U18 Female defeated Team Ontario 3-2 Saturday night to capture the Gold Medal in female hockey at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
After a scoreless first period, Alberta came out of the gates flying in the second. Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, Alta) opened the scoring at the 6:08 mark. Less than a minute later Brittney Fouracres (Airdrie, Alta) found the back of the net giving Alberta a 2-0 go-ahead. Panchuk would add another marker late in the frame putting Alberta up 3-0 heading into the third. Ontario would not roll over. Cayley Mercer (Exeter, Ont) put Ontario on the board early in the third and Emily Fulton (Stratford, Ont) tallied late in the period pulling Ontario within one, but it was too little too late. Alberta would hang on for the final three minutes battling off Ontario’s last minute strike to hold on to the victory.
This is Team Alberta Female’s first Gold Medal at the Canada Winter Games since 1991 when they won with a team led by Hayley Wickenheiser.
Team Alberta’s Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, Alta) led the tournament in scoring with 18 points (9 Goals, 9 assists) while Team Alberta goaltenders Emerence Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta) and Courtney Vinet (Camrose, Alta) only allowed a total of five goals against in seven games played throughout the tournament.
Team Alberta finished the round robin 4-0. They defeated P.E.I. 12-0 in the placement round and Saskatchewan 6-2 in the semi finals.
The Canada Winter Games is the final stage of the Team Alberta Female Program and leads into Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence.
Former Team Alberta players that have competed at the Canada Winter Games include Hayley Wickenheiser (1991), Meaghan Mikkelson (2003) and Carla MacLeod (1999).
Below is Team Alberta U18 Female’s round robin schedule for the Canada Winter Games:
Team Alberta 6 - Saskatchewan 2
Team Alberta would score early and often in the 1st frame and would take a 5-0 lead into the intermission. Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, AB), Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB), Heather Kashman (Edmonton, AB), Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB) and Erika Sowchuk (Cochrane, AB) all found the net for the home team. Team Saskatchewan would make a brief comeback by closing the gap to 3 goals in the second but Team Alberta would put the game on ice when Amy Helfrich (Cochrane, AB) scored the team’s 6th goal of the game. Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, AB) won her 3rd consecutive game in the net for Team Alberta.
Team Alberta 12 – Team PEI 0
Team Alberta had leads of 2-0 and 9-0 after the first two periods, on route to a 12-0 victory. Karlee Odland (Vauxhall, AB) led the way with 3 goals, Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB) and Erika Sowchuk (Cochrane, AB) chipped in with 2 a piece while Amy Helfrich (Cochrane, AB), Sam Sutherland (Cochrane, AB), Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, AB), Eden Murray (Medicine Hat, AB) and Jessica Kampjes (Bon Accord, AB) all had singles in the win. Panchuk and Helfrich also had 3 assists a piece. Courtney Vinet (Camrose, AB) stood tall once again for Team Alberta recording her 2nd shutout of the tournament. Team Alberta will move on to face Team Saskatchewan in the semifinals, Friday at 7:30 pm (AST).
Team Alberta 4 – Team Ontario 1
The games first goal wouldn’t come until the thirteen minute mark of the 2nd as Taryn Baumgardt (Innisfail, AB) point shot found the back of the net. Erika Sowchuk (Cochrane, AB) would increase the lead to 2-0 and a minute later Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB) would add to that lead giving Alberta a 3 goal advantage. Team Alberta would score their 4th power play maker of the period as Karlee Odland (Vauxhall, AB) would score with one second remaining in the 2nd. Ontario would score the only goal of the 3rd period which saw them pull the goalie for the final ten minutes of the game. Courtney Vinet (Camrose, AB) stood tall between the pipes for Team Alberta stopping 32 shot for the victory. Team Alberta finished the round robin in 1st place in their pool with a record of 4-0 and now awaits their opponent for Thursday’s quarter-final.
Team Alberta 3 – Team Saskatchewan 0
Team Alberta would open the scoring in the 2nd period on a goal by Heather Kashman (Edmonton, AB) which was followed up nine minutes when Taylor Sakundiak (Calgary, AB) converted her 1st of the tournament. Team Alberta would ice it in the final frame as captain Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB) scored her 3rd of the tournament. Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, AB) recorded her second consecutive shutout turning away 22 shots, while Team Alberta threw 28 shots on the opposition.
Team Alberta 10 – Team Newfoundland 0
This game got off to a slow start for Team Alberta as they weren’t able generate any offense in the 1st period with it ending 0-0. Team Alberta would come alive in the second as Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, AB) would light the lamp 3 times for a natural hat trick, while Jessica Kampjes (Bon Accord, AB) also found the back of the net giving Team Alberta a 4-0 advantage heading into the final frame. The 3rd period saw flood gates open with Team Alberta scoring 6 times. Heather Kashman (Edmonton, AB), Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB), Karlee Odland (Vauxhall, AB), Erika Sowchuk (Cochrane, AB), Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB) and Panchuk would find the twine. Panchuk would finish the game with 6 points, while linemates Kampjes and Kueber would end up with 5 and 3 points respectively. Courtney Vinet (Camrose, AB) made 9 saves to earn the shutout victory while Team Alberta peppered the Newfoundland goaltenders with 67 shots on goal.
Team Alberta 4 – Team BC 0
Captain Katy Josephs (Calgary, AB) opened the scoring seven minutes into the game and Bryanne Panchuk (Calgary, AB) would add another two minutes later as Team Alberta would take a 2-0 lead heading into the 2nd period. Team Alberta would add to their lead in the 2nd when Melissa Kueber (St. Albert, AB) capitalized on a breakaway chance early in the period. The scoring would be rounded out in the 3rd as Sam Sutherland (Cochrane, AB) notched her first of the tournament. Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, AB) made 18 saves for the shutout, while Team Alberta would throw 34 shot at the Team BC goaltender.
Team Alberta Female won Gold in 1991 and Bronze in 1999 while finishing in 9thplace in 2007.
Former Team Alberta players that have competed at the Canada Winter Games include HayleyWickenheiser (1991), MeaghanMikkelson (2003) and Carla MacLeod (1999).