The PWHPA is taking over the District this weekend with their Secret Dream Gap Tour. The games are being played on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all at Medstar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, VA. Tonight was the first game of the weekend between Team Sonnet of Toronto and Team Bauer of Boston.
Here is how the two teams would line up:
There were special guest coaches for this game. Behind the bench for Team Sonnet was Craig Laughlin; while Alan May found himself behind the bench for Team Bauer.
The starting goaltender for Team Bauer was former University of Maine product, Boston Blades, and Boston Pride member Brittany Ott. While it was Erica Howe, the former Clarkson University product, and Brampton/Markham Thunder member who would get the start for Team Sonnet.
In the first period, Team Sonnet came out firing on all cylinders, as they got the first offensive opportunity of the game. It eventually lead to the first breakthrough of the game as well, as out of a net mouth scramble, Madison Field was able to find the puck, and slot it home past Brittany Ott for the 1-0 lead for Team Sonnet.
Team Sonnet would double their lead in the game. A bad turnover by the Team Bauer defender led to a 2 on 1 opportunity on the rush. Jessie Eldridge, who is on loan from the Montreal team, would find Brittany Howard. She would charge the net, and launch a backhand shot that would get over Ott and into the roofing of the net.
The period would end with Team Sonnet having a 2-0 lead over Team Bauer. There was only 1 penalty called against each team in the first period, with nobody taking advantage of their special teams.
In the second period, Team Sonnet would once again come out flying, as they got an early advantage in the period. It forced Team Bauer in some bad situations, taking penalties early on. Team Sonnet had a 5 on 3 situation, which they took advantage of. Victoria Bach found herself in the high slot, where she would get a shot off, that was blocked by the Team Bauer defender. The puck found the stick of Brittany Howard, who navigated into the slot, and was able to get the shot by Ott. It would be Howard’s second goal of the game.
Before the end of the second penalty, Team Sonnet would double dip. Loren Gabel would skate up the left side. She deked around everyone, going behind the net. She would drop off a pass to the crease, and it would find the stick of Jacquie Greco. She would slam the puck home past Ott, giving Team Sonnet a 4-0 lead.
2 minutes later, Team Bauer would get on the board. A nice pass to the middle would find the stick of Alexa Gruschow. She made a nice deke move in the neutral zone, getting around the defender. It led to a 3 on 2 offensive rush. The initial shot would be saved by Howe, but the rebound would be stuffed home by Catherine Quirion, making the game 4-1.
Before the end of the second period, Team Bauer would get another goal, hopefully establishing them some momentum in the third period. While Team Bauer was on the power play, a 5 on 3 situation, the shot from Quirion at the point would be send down low to Alexa Gruschow. She gathered control of the puck and found herself in front of the net. She would roof the shot over Howe’s glove.
The second period would end with the score being 4-2. There were more penalties called in the period, with 3 going against Team Bauer, and 4 going against Team Sonnet.
During the second intermission, there was a special guest appearance by the NWSL Champion Washington Spirit with the championship trophy.
In the third period, it would be Team Bauer that would be firing on all cylinders, trying to keep up their momentum from the second period. While both teams were 4 on 4, it would pay off with a goal. A shot from the point by Carrie Atkinson would get through the defense and find the stick of Alexa Gruschow. She would then throw the pass across the crease and find Sarah Lefort on the backdoor. She had a wide open net to stash home the puck past Howe.
Both teams would trade offensive chances back and forth in the third period, with both goalies coming up with all of the answers and keeping the puck out of the net. One of the most notable stops in the period was by Brittany Ott. She stopped a Team Sonnet breakaway late in the game, keeping Team Bauer in it.
But Erica Howe would hold down the fort, and stifle any offensive chances Team Bauer were coming up with late in the game. Team Sonnet would take the first game by a final score of 4-3.
The Three Stars of the Game were:
The next game for the PWHPA Secret Dream Gap Tour will take place tomorrow March 5th at 130p. A Matchup between Team Scotiabank of Calgary and Team Adidas of Minnesota.
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