Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

She's a ringer for ringette team

Winnipegger Sieben Games' leading scorer

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It was an offensive showcase of Crosby-ian proportions.

Yes, playing in the arena in which Sidney Crosby first did his thing -- and where a banner proclaiming Cole Harbour Place as "The Home of Sidney Crosby" hangs from the rafters -- Winnipeg's Melissa Sieben helped lead Manitoba to a 11-4 win over the host province in the final game of the ringette competition at the Canada Games.

Sieben fired three goals and set up three others as Manitoba grabbed fifth place in the tournament. All told, the 18-year-old finished with nine goals and eight assists to lead all scorers.

"I actually saw that after somebody told me. That's pretty cool," said Sieben during a telephone interview with the Free Press Friday. "I like being a force in the offensive end... I had nine goals but I like that I had eight assists, too, and was helping set up some of my teammates. I worked well with the people I was with."

Manitoba also got solid efforts from a number of players in Friday's win over Nova Scotia. Jena Gallant scored twice and added two assists, Sarah Lesperance potted two and set up another with Manitoba also getting goals from Casie Gauthier, Lauren Morse, Brianne Sabourin and Karine Sabourin.

Manitoba lost just two games at the Canada Games, both by one goal. And while that could be a frustrating memory, Sieben said she'll remember most the camraderie of the Games and not necessarily the results.

"I've been to nationals four times and the worlds once but this is, by far, the best experience because you're with a whole team," she said.

"All of us Manitoba people, we all came together. We had fans come out and cheer for us and went to the wheelchair basketball games and hockey games to cheer for them. We've been kind of like a big family all cheering on each other. We were told we have the best fans."

Manitoba didn't add any medals to its total on Friday -- it was a relatively light schedule before the second week of action begins -- and remains in sixth place overall with one gold, two silver and four bronze.

-- HOCKEY -- Manitoba's men's hockey team finished their Canada Games in exhilarating fashion with a 4-3 overtime shootout win over Saskatchewan that earned them fifth place overall. Remi Laurencelle led Manitoba with two goals with singles from Kurt Keats and Chris Stockl.

-- BIATHLON -- Manitoba, represented by Nicholas Dumontier, Kiernan Broda-Milian and Erik Lockhart finished seventh in the male 3 x 7.5 km relay with a time of 1:14:05.8 -- just slightly ahead of New Brunswick which came in at 1:14:05.9.

Manitoba's female 3 x 6 km relay team -- consisting of Brooke Christie, Rachel Koroscil and Jessica Biggs -- finished fifth on Friday with a time of 1:13:11.8.

-- FREESTYLE SKIING -- In the female dual moguls Paige Nuttal was 15th, Winnipeg's Veronica Mihic finished 19th. In the dual moguls of the male freestyle skiing event, Keegan Jackson was 20th, Matt Zerr finished 24th, Kevin Burns 25th while Scott Wachal was 29th.

-- CURLING -- Manitoba's female team of Melissa Gordon, Robyn Njegovan, Beth Peterson and Breanne Yozenko lost their first three games in the event, but reeled off three consecutive victories -- including a 7-3 win over Newfoundland & Labrador Thursday night -- to finish 3-3 but out of the medal hunt.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 19, 2011 D6

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