Broncos use late-game heroics to crown Queens

Broncos use late-game heroics to crown Queens

Olds College Sports Information
October 18, 2018

OLDS, Alta. - It takes a 60-minute effort to win.

The Olds College Broncos proved the adage true on Thursday, as Jesse Jack's goal with 55 seconds left in the third period pushed the Broncos to a 3-2 victory over the Red Deer College Queens, as the Broncos hosted Pink in the Rink in support of the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

The goal came after Taeya Nicol (Gilbert Plains, Man.) flipped the puck out of the Bronco zone while killing a penalty, sending Fiona Milligan (Ottawa, Ont.) into a footrace with Queens goaltender Miranda Cook, who came out to challenge.

Jack corralled the puck, then went to the front of the net.

"We were racing back to the net, so I knew she might not be in perfect position," the Byemoor, Alta. native said of her first ACAC goal. "I just shot it and hoped for the best, and the fact that it crossed the line was just pure luck."

It was a night of firsts for Olds College (1-1-1), as Bree Edwards (Edmonton, Alta.) scored her first two ACAC goals, while Tori Eilers (Virden, Man.) made 20 saves for her first ACAC victory.

Broncos co-captain Tori Chenier (Grande Prairie, Alta.) added two assists.

Olds College head coach Chris Leeming credited his players with raising their intensity.

"Between periods, we challenged them," he said. "We said 'You guys stepped up, but we know you have more.'

"They went out and did it, so they definitely earned that win."

Veronika Bucifalova scored both goals for the Queens (1-2-0), while Cook made 17 saves in the losing effort.

It was a tight start, as each team was getting a feel for the other.

The Queens struck first, as Bucifalova took a Catherine Longchamps stretch pass and got behind the Bronco defence, beating Eilers high to give Red Deer the 1-0 lead after one.

However, Olds College answered quickly in the second, as Edwards was the beneficiary of a bouncing puck off a Kali Cummings (Thompson, Man.) shot, which squeaked past Cook to tie the game at 1.

Red Deer again jumped ahead midway through the second, as Bucifalova took a cross-ice pass from Kaely McMurtry and beat Eilers off the post, her powerplay marker giving the Queens the 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Again, the Broncos came out fast, capitalizing on a Queens turnover as Edwards backhanded her second of the night past Cook just 15 seconds into the third.

From there, the game tightened up once more, as both teams had opportunities to win down the stretch, including a golden opportunity for the Queens with a late powerplay. However, the Broncos penalty kill dug deep, with Eilers making key saves along the way to set the stage for Jack's late heroics.

Jack, who was named The Pit Broncos Player of the Game, was quick to credit the penalty killers for their efforts late.

"We decided as a group we weren't going to let them score," she said. "That group went out there and did an amazing job to kill that off and give us the opportunity to get the win."

The Broncos and Queens will face off again Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, where RDC will also host Pink in the Rink.

"We were playing for something bigger today," Jack said. "We came together around (Pink in the Rink) and just pushed through. It was really nice to get the win with all those people in the stands supporting this great cause."