Hannah Suto (Calgary Fire Red) and Emily Biggin (Airdrie Lightning) in action in their Alberta Female Hockey League (Midget Elite) game at Ed Whalen Arena, Calgary on March 3, 2019. © J. Ashley Nixon
March 3, 2019
The final game of the regular Alberta Female Hockey League season at the Ed Whalen Arena started nicely. A ceremony with flower bouquets to honour Calgary Fire Red’s graduating players, Cassidy Brown and Kelly Stanford, and a number of the Airdrie Lightning team. A nice speech too from Fire Red’s coach Dave Addison followed by some sporty stick banging on the ice. Then the puck dropped and the game turned into a rather bad-tempered affair, punctuated with niggly hits, and the occasional punch. The animosity spilled over in the first period when a scuffle in front of the Fire Red net led to Jenica Wilkie (Airdrie Lightning) and Jennifer Nixon (Calgary Fire Red) doing two-minute terms in the penalty box for roughing, meaning they kept the gloves on. Several other grudging stand-offs later went unpenalized.
Two minutes prior, Julia McEwen opened the scoring for Fire Red. The goal came after a shot from Stanford was saved by the Lightning goalie, Jocelyn Pearce who flung herself out left to make a glove save. The puck popped up, and McEwen was ready at the front of the net to flip it over her prostrate body. Stanford’s assist gave her the most points of the season (36) in either of the Midget Elite divisions this season.
McEwen’s goal was the only score until the opening of the third period, when Emma Hoppins was left alone by the Calgary defenders to poke away at a loose puck between Brown’s pads and sneak it over the line.
With Bex Alloway in the box for interference, Teah Workman broke away down middle ice and shot in from the left hash marks high and hard over Pearce’s glove hand to score short-handed and regain the lead. The celebration performance was cinematic but short-lived as Airdrie came back less than two minutes later with a remarkably similar goal to their first, another five-hole slider, scored by Aly Tinevez. It was a 2-2 game after regular time. The visitors made quick work of their four on four play when Madison Black scored the winner for Airdrie, just over a minute into overtime.
Final score: Calgary Fire Red 2-3 Airdrie Lightning
Song of the Match
Back-up goalie for the game, Rebecca Boswell, who shared the most wins in the league this season, was belting out a number as she went through her pre-game stretch routine on the ice. I thought I was hearing DJ Kitch playing a Green Day song, but I shouted over to Bos to check and she put me right. It’s pop punk all the way for today’s Song of the Match from an album released in 1999 and called Enema of the State. Here’s Blink 182 and All the Small Things.
That’s a wrap for the regular league season. Fire Red ended up with the same number of points (61) as Fire White but with one less regular time win, settled into the second spot. That gives the Reds a bye in the first round of the Alberta Provincial playoffs, after which they will meet the winner of Red Deer Chiefs versus Lethbridge Cyclones in the second round. Before that, though is an exhibition game arranged against Kimberley Academy at East Calgary Twin Arenas on Sunday, March 10 (puck drop: 12:45).
More Action from the Game
Please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications for more photos from the Calgary Fire Red versus Airdrie Lightning Midget AA game, and quite a few others.
For the latest information on the Midget AA Elite standings, please visit the Alberta Female Hockey League.