PANDAS TAKE GAME 1 IN OT2013-02-15
By Jason Hills
The Alberta Pandas couldn’t have picked a better time for their luck to change in one-goal games this season.
During their regular season, all but one of the Pandas losses came by one-goal.
But that all changed in their playoff quarter-final opener Friday night at Clare Drake Arena as rookie forward Jessica Kampjes played the role of hero scoring with 1:04 remaining in the first overtime session to give the Pandas a 3-2 win and a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series.
Game two is Saturday at 6:00 pm in Clare Drake Arena.
Second-year forward Alison Campbell and fifth-year forward Karla Bourke tallied the other Alberta goals, while fifth-year Huskies forward Danny Stone scored both markers for Saskatchewan.
Stone’s second goal of the game came with just four seconds left to send the game into overtime. Down 2-1 heading into the third, the Huskies dominated the third period out-shooting Alberta 13-1 as the Pandas were forced to kill off three straight power plays in the second half of the third.
Alberta had two straight power plays midway through the overtime period, but were unable to score until Kampjes heroics.
Saskatchewan finished 1 for 7 on the power play, while Alberta finished 1 for 5.
Pandas goaltender Michala Jeffries made 25 saves for her first career playoff win. The fourth-year netminder out-dueled Saskatchewan goaltender Cassidy Hendricks, who made 24 saves in the loss in what was a real goaltending battle.
The Pandas have missed the presence of their captain Sarah Hillworth, who has missed almost the entire season with a broken knee cap. There have been several times this year, where the team has lacked that timely goal.
The Pandas were led Friday night by a group of veterans like Bourke, and Meg Omand and Montanna Noyes who were excellent on the penalty kill.
And of course Kampjes, who led all Canada West rookies in scoring with that timely goal in OT.
The product of Sturgeon County and graduate of the St. Albert Slash program showed off her blazing speed and blew past a tired Huskies defenceman and let go a backhand that beat Hendricks on the short-side.
Stone’s late first period power play marker gave Saskatchewan their only lead of the game. Alberta struck twice just 37 seconds apart in the middle of the second to take the 2-1 lead into the dying seconds of the third before Stone's tying goal.