By Alan Hudes
Jenny Young is usually a stay-at-home defenceman for the Stingers. But that wasn’t the case at all over the weekend.
The second-year blue-liner scored the winning goal late in the second period, and added an assist in the third to lead the women’s hockey team to a 2-0 win over the North Halton Twisters on Sunday. The game featured the top teams in the division, and was a tight battle from the start.
“(The Twisters) really took away the boards,” Stingers head coach Stephanie White said. “They made it tough for us on the breakout and their goaltender was solid. It took us quite a few shots to get one past her….They’re a good team and they’re going to be tough later on in the season.”
Despite several scoring chances and powerplay opportunities for both sides, Stingers netminder Dana Carson and Twisters counterpart Candice Anderson were equal to the task, keeping the game deadlocked
Then Young took over.
With 54 seconds remaining in the second period, the Courtice, Ont. native fired a slap shot from the point for her second goal of the season.
Wasting no time, the team added to their lead early in the third. Under two minutes in, Young launched another bullet from the blue line that went behind the net and off the end boards. The shot rebounded into the slot and onto the stick of winger Miranda Hussey, who made no mistake as she buried it into the back of the net.
“We just needed some reassurance,” said Young. “We were having a decent game but the goals just picked everybody up.”
Shortly after Hussey’s goal, the Twisters were given a significant chance to get back into the game. Three infractions were called in the first five minutes of the third, two of them to the Stingers, and North Halton found themselves with a 4-on-3 advantage. But the penalty kill did not disappoint.
“One of the key moments was the 4 on 3, and we had a faceoff in our own end,” White said. “We won the faceoff nice and clean – (centre Lauren) Bonsell won it back to Jenny and we were able to ice it. That was a difference maker in the game.”
After failing to capitalize on the powerplay, the Twisters pulled Anderson with three minutes left to try and get on the board. With the clock ticking down, Carson made a number of spectacular saves to shut the door, preserving the win and her seventh shutout of the season.
The victory extended the team’s unbeaten season to 15 games, and was a welcome challenge for the Stingers, especially in a league game.
“I like playing teams like that because they make us work. It causes us to be more focused on positioning and pay attention to our passes because we can’t get sloppy,” said Hussey. “We have to actually work real hard…and next year (in varsity) we’re going to be playing teams that are lot higher calibre than this so the more difficult teams that we can play against this year, the better to prep us.”
The Stingers return to action this Friday when they take on the Toronto Ice.