The Winnipeg Women's High School Hockey League finals are set to go the whole three miles, with both division championships pushed to a third and final game.
In a blaze of pucks at the MTS Iceplex Tuesday, the Fort Richmond Centurions defeated the Dakota Lancers to force a deciding game for the WWHSHL's A division championship. Despite facing a barrage of Lancers shots -- Dakota put 24 pucks on net, FRC finished with 14 -- the Centurions edged their south-end rivals 3-2 in the dying seconds of regulation.
The first game in their series stretched to overtime, where the Lancers won, and Tuesday's second game threatened to end up the same way. The teams were tied at deuces with under a minute left in the third when Centurions forward Cassidy Mazur -- who had already scored both FRC goals -- led a last-minute attack in the Lancers' zone. That surge ended in a goal-mouth scramble and, with 24 seconds left on the clock, the Centurions' winning goal.
On the scoresheet, it was recorded as Mazur's third, with assists to Amanda Fanning and Quinn Nicholls; a heck of a time to complete a hat trick. Well, maybe.
"The last goal was just kind of bouncing, I'm not even sure if I even got it to be honest," a beaming Mazur said, minutes after the win. "I don't want to take credit for that hat trick. It was just bumping everywhere. That last one was definitely everyone just working hard."
Now, the Centurions will prepare to face the Lancers at the Iceplex again on Thursday to determine the A division champion. Game time is set for 4:45 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Westwood Warriors roared back from their Game 1 loss to the Lord Selkirk Royals to win the second game of the series 5-0 at the MTS Iceplex and tie their best-of-three series. Simply put, the Warriors came out ready to do battle, exploding for three goals in the second period and adding two more in the final frame.
Blue-liner Emily Hollins scored two power-play markers for the Warriors, while forward Haley Proteau, defenceman Nikki Lillies and forward Avery Baker all finished with one goal and one assist.
"The girls knew that they came out a little bit too arrogant the first game and they really picked it up as a team," coach Kelly Hiebert said, after congratulating his squad. "Everybody played their role, did their job, and they worked hard and earned the victory."
With the win, the Warriors pushed the series to a third game set for 4:15 p.m. today for the WWHSHL's Division B championship.