By RYAN MCCRACKEN on March 7, 2020.
A wild rally fell just short for the Medicine Hat Mighty Ducks on Friday afternoon at the Family Leisure Centre.
Trailing 5-0 in their under-19 provincial ringette championship tournament first-round matchup with the Bowview Elite, the Ducks struck for three late goals before finally relenting in a 6-3 loss.
“We took a moment on the bench and said, ‘Hey let’s pop a couple in the net quick, trust each other, trust the team,'” said Ducks captain Maggie Carrier. “We got lucky with some penalties and then all of the sudden things just started to click.”
Coupled with a 5-4 win over the Sherwood Park Five to open the tournament earlier Friday, the setback left Medicine Hat with a 1-1 record through the first round. That victory came thanks to two goals from Lauren Klick and a three-point performance out of Ashlyn Seale in a bright-and-early battle with the Five.
“The girls were a little groggy but I’m proud of every single one on the team,” said Carrier. “They put their skates on, they went out on the ice and they played really hard. We deserved that win.”
Amanda Robinson and Cassidy Stock rounded out the scoring in the early win, while Kennedy Lanigan finished with a pair of helpers.
Robinson went on to score twice in the afternoon’s loss, getting her team on the board with less than seven minutes left in regulation before following up Bree Becker’s tally with another entering the final minute of the game. But the Elite ultimately pushed the game back out of reach with a late empty-netter.
“I wish we could have done it sooner because then the game would have picked up,” said Robinson. “We probably could have beat that team if we could have done everything a little sooner.”
Maggie Ryan led Bowview with two goals in the win. Sheridan Coninx followed up with a goal and two helpers, while Chloe Gustafson, Laila Comessotti and Charlotte Gosselin added individual tallies.
The tournament restructures for Saturday’s second round. With a second-place finish in Group A, the Ducks return to the ice to host the third-place finishers from Group B at 9:45 a.m. before taking on the top performers from Group C at 8:30 p.m. All remaining games will be played at the Kinplex.
The top four teams following Saturday’s action will advance to the semis on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. The bronze-medal game is slated for 1 p.m., followed by the final at 2:30 p.m.
“We can win it,” said Robinson. “It’s awesome seeing all the fans in the stands and all the support from our families.”
Meanwhile, the other Hat host team this weekend is 2-0 through the first day.
The Riptide beat Bowview Havoc 7-4 and Northwest Forte 7-5 at the Kinplex. They face 0-2 Red Deer early Saturday morning but have already locked up a semifinal berth later in the day. The under-16 A final will be 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kinplex.