HFS Aces declaw the Wild and advance to Lower Lakes West Final, News, Humphrey Fleet Service Atom A, 2019-2020 (Stratford Aces Girls Hockey)

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HFS Aces declaw the Wild and advance to Lower Lakes West Final
Submitted By Sean Cameron on Tuesday, March 3, 2020
That's a sweet double double.

Mother Nature's fury postponed game one of the Lower Lakes semifinals with the Woolwich Wild,  February 28 and created a double header, February 29. The Humphrey Fleet Service Atom A Aces were forced to rework the lines with Eve Binns ill. Abby Van Bakel and Emersyn Miller took turns at centre while Ava Harmer moved to the wing. The Aces were slow to find their rhythm and Chloe Rison made several great saves in the first, especially a flurry in close and then a big glove save late in the frame. Unfortunately the Wild got on the board 19 seconds into the second, but it gave the Aces a sense of urgency and 20 seconds later Jayda Houben and Abby Van Bakel did the dirty work down low and then fed Jayda Dietz out front. She refused to give up and banged it home. Three minutes later, Dietz fed Emersyn Miller and she found Houben at the side of the net and she bounced it off the goalie's skate and in, to put the home side up 2-1. The teams battled hard through the second but both net minders stood tall. The Aces opened the third strong but then Rison came up with a huge stop on a two player breakaway. The Aces responded when Dietz tipped it out to Miller in the neutral and she drove down the right side and dangled through the defenders before dishing a beauty out front to Houben and she tapped it in with nine minutes left in the third. Unfortunately, the Wild capitalized on a breakaway three minutes later and found the short side. Two minutes later, the Wild were able to knot it at three. The Aces regrouped and 16 seconds later Emma Van Nes sent Miller away and her shot was stopped but Dietz buried it to make it 4-3. Rison got her blocker on one seconds later to preserve the lead. With 1:16 to go, the Wild called a timeout but seconds later Houben poked it across to Van Bakel in the neutral zone and she pushed it between the defenders and then raced through and netted the empty netter for a 5-3 victory. Four hours later the teams were back in action. Knowing their playoff lives were on the line the Wild were hungry and Malaika Kibedi had to be sharp. She made several great saves including a great poke check on a two player break and on a couple point blank shots. The teams battled through a scoreless first.Early in the second, Kibedi stoned the Wild and the defense pairings of Van Nes and Maeve Moss, Eden Fraser and Kylin Wilson, Maren Marshall and Camryn Medhurst continued their dominating play, especially offensively. Medhurst finally opened the scoring when she jumped on it at the point and ripped it home through a crowd with 6:35 remaining in the second. Kibedi came up with a huge stop on another two player break then Linley Porter fed Krista McMahon and her shot was stopped but Miller was there to snap the rebound in at 1:54. Nineteen seconds later, Marshall's point shot was blocked but Van Bakel picked it up, turned and rifled it to give Humphrey Fleet a 3-0 lead with 1:33 left.The Aces opened the third on the power play after a cross check and they went to work 16 seconds later. Van Nes' point shot was stopped, Miller fired it and then Ava Harmer made no mistake on the rebound and the Aces were up by four. The Wild refused to go easily though and continued to push hard. They were rewarded with another two man breakaway and their top scorer found the back of the net with a beauty. Moss was sent off for sticking up for her netminder less than a minute later but the Aces were determined to finish off the Wild and used it to perfection. With 34 seconds remaining in the penalty kill, Wilson's point shot was stopped but McMahon was too hungry for the Wild. Her wraparound made it 5-1 with six minutes to go. The Aces had to kill off a penalty with four minutes left and seconds after it ended another two player breakaway and it was 5-2 with a minute left but that was as close as they could get. The win sets up a West Division Final with the Saugeen Maitland Lightning, March 7 at 5 p.m. at the RBC Arena and game two of the best of three series is March 14 at 1 p.m. at the Howick Arena. Game three, if necessary, is March 15 at the RBC at 11 a.m. The winner qualifies for the Lower Lakes Championship 'Final Four' in Toronto, March 27-29.The Aces switch to provincial playdowns with games March 2 versus the Huron Heat at 7:15 p.m. at the Molson Arena and the South Huron Sabres, March 4 at 7 p.m.
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Printed from aceshockey.com on Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 6:12 PM