Raiders have first-round stranglehold
Hockey: Highwood Midget girls earn 2-0 series lead on Calgary
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 06:00 am
The Highwood Raiders are right where they need to be in their opening round post-season series.
The Raiders staked themselves a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Calgary Flyers in the best-of-five Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League (AMMFHL) opening round series.
Okotoks netminder Pippa Bagley stole the show in Game 1, posting a 41-save shutout in the Raiders’ 2-0 win, Friday at Winsport in Calgary.
“It was my best game of the season, for sure. I was surprised. I didn’t know I had it in me,” said Bagley, who was eager to atone for a few lackluster efforts at the end of the season. “I was excited to get back into the playoffs and redeem myself from the way we ended the regular season.”
Outshot 41-12, the Raiders made out like bandits in the series opener. Top scorer Emily Potts opened the scoring six minutes in and Okotoks forward Megan Hansen added the empty-netter, with Bagley picking up the lone assist to put the finishing touches on a night to remember.
Raider captain Kaylin Snodgrass said the team was a motivated group after ending the regular season in less than ideal fashion. Highwood closed out the campaign with three straight losses, including a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Flyers in early February.
“We knew we had to step it up and everybody came ready to play,” said Snodgrass, a Longview resident. “And our goalie Pippa had an outstanding performance and saved us from some tough situations.”
Game 2 saw the series switch gears to High River where the Raiders posted a much more evenly played contest.
Blackie blueliner Kassey Wells opened the scoring after pinching in from the point and sliding the puck on a forehand deke five-hole on Calgary netminder Katherine Rawlyk. Bagley’s shutout streak of 127:22 was finally snapped when Calgary’s Cornelia Geib poked the puck home on a scramble in the slot.
Hard-working Raider forward Madison Nesom then tallied the game-winning goal eight minutes into the middle stanza. Bagley was again stellar in between the pipes in making 28 saves for Highwood.
“We knew they were going to comeback and wanted to win because I think they were surprised they didn’t score at all the first game,” Snodgrass said. “We managed our defensive coverage a lot better (in Game 2).”
The Raiders carry a 2-0 lead into Game 3 on Friday in Calgary. If necessary, Game 4 would be Saturday at 4:15 p.m. at the Bob Snodgrass Rec Plex in High River.
Though the Flyers are on the ropes, the elimination game is almost always the toughest win to accomplish.
“We’re going to have to start out strong again and maybe get a quick one or two and from then on play defensive and help our goalie out as much as we can,” Snodgrass said.