By Medicine Hat News on February 26, 2020.
Playdowns have begun and two Medicine Hat ringette teams are off to the next round.
Medicine Hat Smash had a simple route, though a stressful one: play the Central Alberta Sting in a one-game playoff to determine whose season is over and who advances to provincials next month.
Smash took the challenge head-on, beating Sting 10-5 Saturday in Strathmore.
Kayty Smith had a hat trick for Medicine Hat, which also got two-goal games from Jessica Berger and Hope Boychuk.
Nicona Brost, Mahala Boychuk and Erica Brost also scored in a game that was closer than it looked. Smash only led 4-3 at the intermission but poured on the pressure in the final period.
They now get a couple weeks to prepare for the Alberta Open B championships March 13-15 in Leduc. They’ll be joined by four teams yet to play the 11-team northern Alberta playdowns and three of the eight teams from Calgary’s league that will play off.
Following an upset loss and trailing badly in their second playoff game Saturday, the under-16 Matrix’s season was hanging by a thread.
They needed to finish at least second in the three-team pool to advance to another round of qualifying, their chance at going straight to provincials gone after an opening-game 6-4 loss to Calgary’s Bowview Lethal.
At Hussar, Strathmore’s Ice led Medicine Hat 5-1 after the first period. It didn’t look good. But the Matrix got going just in time, winding up with a dramatic 8-7 win capped by the deciding goal with 46 seconds left to play.
Leah Jetter had a hat trick in the win, while Jaelyn Siewert scored twice. Ryan Sweet, Hailey Sanders and Trinity Wikjord also found the back of the net, while Leah Mason relieved an injured Rheagyn Heinrichs in net.
Now they need to finish top-three in Hussar this weekend in a four-team qualifier. Their provincials would also be in Leduc March 13-15, same as the Smash’s Open B finals.