Sports

Red Knights pull out a win with late-game goal

FRANCIS CRESCIA/TOWN CRIER
OUT OF HER NET: Panthers goaltender Brynna Kerr covers up a hard shot so the Northern Red Knights can’t get a rebound during varsity girls hockey action. Kerr stopped 28 of 29 shots but was on the losing end of the score.

Jenni Thompson gets only marker in 1-0 win

Brynna Kerr did her stone-cold best to keep the puck out of the Lawrence Park net.

The Panthers netminder was kept busy Jan. 18 by Northern’s assault, led by Devon Moir, Rose Duncan and Allie Sherwin.

It wasn’t until 5:27 of the third period, when the Red Knights’ Devon Moir stripped the puck away, passed it to Jenni Thompson who squeaked through Kerr’s five-hole, that the shutout was broken.

Afterward, in the hallway leading to the changerooms, Kerr was unfazed by the lost shutout and the resulting 1-0 loss.

“We played well,” she said, a pleased smile affixed to her face. “It was fun.”

Her coach, Karen Daigle, lauded her keeper’s hard work — stopping 28 of 29 shots — adding the Panthers had a few key scratches from the lineup heading into their South Region tilt. Missing from Lawrence Park’s lineup were Emma Benwell, Maddie Pringle, Alex Levine and Megan Sullivan.

“We were missing a few key players and they knew that going into the game but I think even without those players we played really well,” Daigle said. “We just left a player open in an optimal spot, in our zone and it snuck in the five-hole.

“Aside from that I think it would have been a nil-nil game.”

Thompson’s stand-alone goal was the result of practice finally paying off.

“We have a couple of plays down low that we practise and we were fortunate to capitalize,” Northern coach Frank DeLeo said, adding Kerr was tough to beat in net. “We kept on top of things, controlled the play in their zone a lot and their goalie played a great game.”

Stopping 11 shots for the Red Knights’ shutout was Victoria Saunders. Though Duncan was held off the scoresheet, DeLeo lauded his blueliner for her ability to keep the puck in Lawrence Park’s zone.

For Lawrence Park, getting her Panthers’ share of shots and providing opportunities for teammates was Alex Samson.

“She set a bunch of stuff up but nothing squeaked through,” Daigle said.

Both teams are seeking home-ice advantage for the playoffs. With only four points separating first from fifth in District Region play, the league is anyone’s to win.

“I’m hoping we finish in the top half of our pool so that we have a good first playoff game in terms of seeding,” Daigle said. “At this point I think we have the potential to beat most of the teams we’ve faced so far, it’s just we’ve had some unlucky breaks and slow starts for the team.”

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