Overtime was not a friend of the Estevan Power Dodge Bantam A Chargers in the South Saskatchewan Female Hockey League (SSFHL) final, as they lost two games in extra time to the South West Cyclones.
Estevan lost Game 1 4-3 in triple overtime on March 19 in Estevan, and 5-4 in overtime in Game 2 three nights later in Gull Lake, as the Cyclones swept the best-of-three series.
The Cyclones jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in Game 1, but Araya Wheeler scored three times in four minutes to give Estevan a 3-2 lead by the nine-minute mark of the first period. Makenna Morrison assisted on all three goals.
The Cyclones scored midway through the second to tie the game, and then neither team scored until the Cyclones' tallied with 42 seconds to play in the third overtime.
In Game 2, Estevan led 2-1 after the first period, and had a goal disallowed because the referee lost sight of the puck. The Cyclones led 4-3 after two periods, but Peyton Wilson tied the game with a few minutes remaining in regulation.
The Cyclones scored the winner on a power play early in the first overtime period.
Morrison scored twice for Estevan, and Wheeler also scored.
Ashlyn Taillon was in goal for both games.
“We never gave up,” said assistant coach Trevor Morrison. “We fell behind a couple times in both games, and we battled back. We were one shot away of winning both games.”
Forward Meagan LeBlanc, who led the league in scoring, missed the final with a leg injury.
Trevor Morrison was pleased with the resiliency of the Chargers' players.
“We had to juggle lines and move different kids around,” he said. “She's had a great year; she has helped out on our offence, so it definitely made a difference.”
This was the fourth straight year that the Chargers have reached the league final; they won the championship in 2012 and 2013. Morrison cited the commitment of the players and the parents, and the work of head coach Brad Friars, as reasons for the team's continued success.
Only five of the Chargers' players will graduate to midget next season, so they'll return nine of the 14 players who helped the team go 31-4-1 this season.