By Alan Hudes
Stinger’s newcomer Victoria Archie scored her first goal of the season, as the women’s hockey team clinched first place with a 2-0 win Sunday over the second seeded North Halton Twisters.
“That was a relief,” said Archie. “I had no idea what I was getting into. I haven’t played for a long time so I thought I wouldn’t be able to skate at all. I was wrong I guess.”
Both Nasso and winger Elizabeth Wood skated in alone on breakaways before the two minute mark but neither was able to find the back of the net. Later in the first period on a powerplay, centres Tessa Dimitrakopoulos and Kristy Stanfield crashed the net in an effort to capitalize on a rebound, notably on one shot that went off the crossbar. The game remained scoreless heading into the second, but the undefeated Stingers didn’t panic.
“I like to feel confident that we can put pucks behind goalies,” Stingers head coach Stephanie White said. “It’s been one of the things that we’ve been doing well all season. Really, it’s about patience and we talked about it between the first and second.”
Much like the previous week, the team played a tight first period but were also able to score early in the second.
About a minute in and on a 2-on-1, centre Lauren Bonsell fed Nasso with a perfect pass in the offensive zone. Nasso didn’t even hesitate as she buried the easy tap-in to give the Stingers a 1-0 advantage.
And the Stingers weren’t done there.
With North Halton’s Jordan Armstrong in the box for her second consecutive infraction, the team came out with similar jump in the third and added to their lead. Only 20 seconds of the period had elapsed, when Archie deked into offensive zone, and fired the puck top shelf for a powerplay goal, to put the Stingers up by two.
“You couldn’t ask for more,” White said, in reference to Archie’s initial performance. “… She’s got a lot of skill and she would probably help us in some of our games.”
As the period wore down and the Stingers defended their lead, North Halton began taking penalties out of frustration.
The Stingers held on for the win, their 11th straight and fifth consecutive shutout. With five regular season games remaining on the schedule and a tournament in Niagara Falls, the team has a month and a half to gear up for the playoffs as well as the provincial championships. And despite the season series with the Twisters now being complete, the Stingers know they’ll be seeing them again.
“They’ve already told us they’re planning to knock us off (in the playoffs),” White said. “We’ll see what happens.”
The Stingers are back in action this Sunday against the Brampton Cougars.