The 2015 Whitefish Women's Tournament was a raging success. 12 teams competed in two divsions: upper and rec. Two champions were crowned, goals were scored, comebacks were waged, bingo was played, and there was even a snowball fight.
The Whitefiish Wailers were the #1 qualifier, amassing 34 points on three wins, zero losses, with two wins by way of shutout. The Nelson Drillers were second, with two wins and a tie, zero losses, and one shutout. But the Drillers went into the finals having scored more goals than any other team in the tournament, and they had faced a tougher schedule.
The final game was one for the ages. The Wailers started off strong, with physical play, and strong offensive zone coverage, they logged 7 of the first 8 shots of the game. But it was the Drillers who got on the board first with a beautiful top shelf goal, on their second shot. Even though the Wailers continued to control the puck and pace, it was the Drillers again who netted the next goal--burying a great 5-hole one timer a few minutes into the 2nd period.
Up 2-0 the Drillers really started to press the pace, controlling the zone, and narrowed the gap on the shot count. It appeared it was just not going to be the home team's day. But hope was kept alive when late in the 2nd period Wailer forward Rebecca Baker burried a beautiful top-shelf goal of her own. Despite many scoring opportunities both ways, the 2nd period ended with the Drillers up 2-1.
The Wailers didn't give up. They continued to log shots, but so often they were on net, but just not amounting to quality scoring opportunities. The Drillers defense did a great job of protecting their net, but with 5 minutes to go they slipped up. Essie Roberts got behind the defense and picked up a sweet pass from Rebecca Baker to tie the game 2-2.
The remaining 5 minutes of regulation were extremely hard fought. The Drillers put 8 more shots on Wailer goalie Jessie Hockett, but could not retake the lead. Four on Four overtime began with 3 minutes on the clock. The first lines came and went, then the second, then the third, but with 30 seconds to go, Wailers defensemen Cody McCarthy had had enough. She picked up the puck at the red line, beat one defender, then another, then laid out the goalie and went around her—ending the sudden-death overtime with 24 seconds on the clock. The Wailers had won.
Click here to Dowload Hi-rez Championship Photo
The Cranbook Shooters were the #1 seed in the Rec division entering Sunday. With a 3-0 record, they amassed 29 points in the Herg Tournament Scoring System®. The toughest game they had faced during the round robin was the Whitefish Mud Puppies, who kept the game within one goal, a 2-1 victory for the Shooters. Other than that one loss the Mud Puppies were solid, amassing 22 points with a 2-1 record.
The game didn't disappoint. The Mud Puppies pressed the pace, matched witts with Shooters through almost two scoreless periods. At the end of the second period, the Mud Puppies pulled ahead. The took the lead on a beautiful goal by a Puppie forward, and the 3rd period would begin with the Mud Puppies up 1-0.
Goalie Becky Rohan played wonderfully, twarting shot after shot, but about halfway through the 3rd period the Shooters found pay-dirt. Two goals were netted in the course of 30 seconds through Becky's five hole, and the pendulum had swung their way.
The Mud Puppies threw everything they had at the Shooters, and with 2 minutes to go a Shooter took a hooking penalty that would give the Puppies a man-advantage for the reamainder of the game. When they pulled their goalie with 1 minute remaining, the teams skated 6 on 4, and multiple scoring opportunties made it look like Puppies would climb back into it. But a few second later the Shooters cleared the zone, entered the attacking zone and put one on net. Defensemen Cassie Francischetti, who also plays goalie, made a beautiful kick save on the first shot. But the Puppies couldn't clear the zone. Two attempts later, the Shooters put the game away 3-1.
In final seconds the Puppies scored a sneaker, but it would not be enough, and the horn sounded, ending 3-2.
Click here to Dowload Hi-rez Championship Photo
|Friday December 5, 2014|
|1||3:30 p.m.||Ice Hounds||Wildcats||Wldcats 4-1|
|2||5:00 p.m.||Shooters||Wolves||Shooters 4-2|
|3||6:30 p.m.||Flames||Ice Pack||2-2 Tie|
|4||8:00 p.m.||Wailers||Shenooks||Wailers 4-0|
|5||9:30p.m.||Mud Puppies||Mystery Team||Mud Puppies 4-3|
|Saturday December 6, 2014|
|7||7:00 a.m.||Flames||Shooters||Shooters 10-1|
|8||8:30 a.m.||Ice Pack||Wolves||Tie 2-2|
|9||10:00 a.m.||Wailers||Wildcats||Wailers 7-1|
|10||11:30 a.m.||Ice Hounds||Drillers||Tie 2-2|
|11||1:00 p.m.||Shenooks||Hustlers||Hustlers 5-1|
|12||2:30 p.m.||Mud Puppies||Shooters||Shooters 2-1|
|13||4:00 p.m.||Mystery Team||Flames||Mystery Team 4-1|
|14||5:30 p.m.||Drillers||Wildcats||Drillers 9-0|
|15||7:00 p.m.||Wailers||Hustlers||Wailers 3-0|
|16||8:30 p.m.||Wolves||Mud Puppies||Mud Puppies 6-2|
|17||10:00 p.m.||Ice Hounds||Shenooks||Ice Hounds 6-0|
|18||11:30 p.m.||Ice Pack||Mystery Team||Ice Pack 4-3|
|Sunday December 7, 2014|
|19||10:00 a.m.||Rec. Championship - Mudpuppies vs. Shooters||Shooters 3-2|
|20||11:30 a.m.||Upper Championship - Wailers vs. Drillers||Wailers 3-2|
Tournament scoring awards 6 points for a win, 3 points for a tie, plus 1 point for each goal scored, up to 5 goals, and 2 points for a shutout. Maxium score for a given game is 13 points (6 for win, 5 for goals, 2 for shutout). Top two teams in each bracket qualify for finals on Sunday.