Broncos use late goal to ground Griffins

Broncos use late goal to ground Griffins

Olds College Sports Information
November 1, 2018

OLDS, Alta. - Bailee Werstroh couldn't have timed her first ACAC regular season goal any better.

The second-year Bronco's goal late in the third propelled Olds College defeated the MacEwan University Griffins 2-1 at the Town of Olds Sports Complex on Thursday.

"It's been a long time coming," the Lloydminster, Sask. native admitted. "It feels really good to finally get one on the board, and knowing my teammates helped me out, it's really good."

Sustained offensive pressure from Olds College (3-3-1) led to the opportunity, including a dive from Mairyn Tucker (Armstrong, B.C.) to keep the puck in the Griffins zone. Werstroh grabbed the puck from behind the net, and her wraparound attempt went off Jaime Erickson's skate and past Sandy Heim with 3:48 to play.

Broncos head coach Chris Leeming challenged his players to increase their intensity as the game progressed.

"We were working really hard, but we weren't exactly working smart, so we came into the third, and we were in a good position," he said. "We just had to win a period, and we challenged them to get pucks and bodies to the net and bang in an ugly goal."

Tori Chenier (Grande Prairie, Alta.) also scored for the Broncos, while Lexi Bruce (Edmonton, Alta.) turned in another strong performance, making 34 saves to secure Olds College's third straight victory at home.

Leeming was impressed with Bruce's perseverance in goal.

"She's never short on compete level," he said. "That's her asset, and she did really well tonight in that sense, so she earned her win."

Chantal Ricker replied for the Griffins (7-2-0), while Heim made 12 saves in defeat as MacEwan's three-game winning streak was snapped.

Olds College's penalty kill was exceptional in the victory, denying the Griffins on all eight of their powerplay opportunities.

"Hats off to them, because they did a great job," Leeming said of his penalty killers. "They persevered through fatigue and they battled, they committed to getting into shot lanes."

Werstroh echoed her coach's sentiments.

"Considering how much time we spent killing, it was really impressive to see the endurance of our team," she said.

The Broncos opened the scoring midway through the first, as a Chenier wrist shot from the point on the powerplay beat Heim over the shoulder to give Olds College a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, thanks in large part to 16 saves from Bruce, who tried to keep things simple in the Broncos crease.

"I just try and watch the puck and remember the little things like staying close on my posts," she said. "They really liked the wraparounds today, so every save I made built confidence and made it a little bit easier."

Fiona Milligan (Ottawa, Ont.) nearly gave the Broncos a two-goal lead midway through the second, getting in alone on Heim before hitting the crossbar.

The Griffins found the equalizer shortly thereafter, solving Bruce as Jayme Doyle swung a pass out front to Ricker, who made no mistake to make it 1-1 going into the third.

The ice opened up a bit on both sides in the third, with both sides applying solid pressure to set the stage for Werstroh's heroics.

Chenier was The Pit BBQ Player of the Game for the Broncos, while Karley Jewell was the player of the game for the Griffins.

The Broncos and Griffins won't wait long to renew acquaintances, as the teams will play in Edmonton on Friday at 7 p.m.

"We won tonight because of how hard we fought," Werstroh said. "We went through a lot of adversity tonight, and we had our flat spots, but we also had our high points.

"We need to not go into the game thinking we already have it."