Kenzie Heide scored what would be the game winner as the Pembina Valley Hawks kicked off their Manitoba Female "AAA" Midget Hockey League playoffs with a 3-1 over the Central Plains Capitals.
"I think at that point Dana (Bell), Shanley (Peters), and Kayleigh (Weins) were saying get shots to the net. When Sage (McElroy-Scott) got me the puck and I first thought to get it to the net as quick as possible and maybe get a tip in or something. Just something to get a lead," explained Heide.
The Hawks opened the scoring in the second period when Makenzie McCallum was able to beat Capitals net-minder Lacey Friesen, who made 34 saves in the game.
Then in the third period, Heide took a shot from the point and was able to find the back of the net with 1:52 remaining, which would end up being the game winner.
"It's always nice to get the first one for sure," said Hawks coach Dana Bell. "We set the goals pretty high for the girls today. As coaches, we felt they came out and played a solid sixty minutes. They stuck to the game plan, stuck to our systems, got the puck deep, and put a massive forecheck on. I think in the end our forecheck is what won us the game."
Just :34 seconds later Halle Edwards broke Halle Oswald shutout bid. Central Plains rode the momentum of their goal and pulled the Friesen in an attempt to tie the game, but was unable to do so. The Hawks would clear the puck out of their end and in a race for a loose puck in the Capitals end a tripping minor was assessed to Chole Snaith. Alyssa Alderson would capitalize on the power-play to add some insurance to the Hawks lead with under a minute left to play.
Oswald turned aside 19 shots in the win for the Hawks, who know look to earn a 2-0 series lead in Portage on Friday.
"I think we definitely have to come and play the same game. We have to come out hard and score more goals on them and get up on them earlier," said Hawks captain Mackenzie Hutchinson.