HFS Takes Round 1 In The Lower Lakes Championship, News, Humphrey Fleet Service Atom A (Stratford Aces Girls Hockey)

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HFS Takes Round 1 In The Lower Lakes Championship
Submitted By Sean Cameron on Friday, February 14, 2020
The Humphrey Fleet Service Aces faced the  St. Thomas Panthers in the first round of the Lower Lakes West Division playoffs and came away with two wins on the weekend. 

The Aces hosted the Panthers, February 8 and came away with a 3-0 victory. Midway through the first, Abby Van Bakel and Jayda Houben combined to set up Jayda Dietz Dietz out front and she netted her own rebound on the backhand. Eden Fraser was hauled down on a rush with 46.7 seconds left in the first. As the penalty ended Maren Marshall's point shot was tipped by Krista McMahon but Emersyn Miller was there to snap the rebound by the netminder less than 90 seconds into the period putting the Aces up 2-0. With the Aces dominating late in the frame Emma Van Nes' shot deflected to Houben and then Van Bakel snapped it home with 3:47 remaining in the second. The Aces played suffocating defense throughout the first two frames especially, repeatedly styming the Panthers attack. Early in the third the Panthers got a chance to get on the board but Chloe Rison came up with a big blocker save. Textbook defense and a relentless forecheck was too much for St. Thomas and Stratford grabbed two points with a 3-0 win. Rison earned the shutout. On February 9, the Aces were in St. Thomas for game two. Needing a win or at least a tie to stay alive, the Panthers were hungry. The teams exchanged chances in the first and the Panthers opened the scoring when they capitalized on a rebound. Malika Kibedi came up with some huge saves late in the first and then seconds later Maeve Moss fed Van Nes and her point shot was tipped by Eve Binns and Miller was there for the rebound with 22 seconds left in the first. The Aces' relentless pressure was finally rewarded midway through the second. The Panthers iced the puck to relieve the pressure but it only created a new opportunity for the Aces. Van Bakel won the draw to Dietz and she jumped past the defender and buried it to give the Aces a 2-1 lead. Early in the third the Panthers had a glorious chance to tie it up when the Aces were called for too many players. Thirty six seconds later, with the Aces battling along the boards in their zone Miller was penalized for boarding. Kibedi made some big saves and the penalty killers Van Bakel, Van Nes and Kylin Wilson, then Dietz, Van Nes and Wilson, and then Van Bakel, Marshall and Van Nes did a great job killing off both. The Aces had several chances to add to their lead but couldn't bury it. With three minutes left the Panthers pushed for the equalizer but the Aces refused to break and won 2-1.The Aces move on to face the winner of the series between the South Huron Sabres and the Woolwich Wild. In the meantime they face the Saugeen Maitland Lightning,  February 15 in the first game of the provincial playdowns. The Aces, Saugeen Maitland, South Huron Sabres and Huron Heat face off for the right to advance to provincials in April. The teams will play a home and home series and the top two teams will advance to the provincial championship.
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