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Xtreme notch nine to earn provincials berth

Tyler Waugh Photo
Ava Muyres of the Hinton Xtreme U16 ringette squad cuts to the net during the final game of Round 1 of provincial playdown qualifying Feb. 16 against Sherwood Park. 

Tyler Waugh

The Hinton Xtreme U16 ringette squad came to play Feb. 16 and earned a 9-0 win over the Sherwood Park Force – good enough to punch their ticket to the championships next month in Medicine Hat.

Hinton opened Round 1 of the Northern Division playdowns with an 8-4 loss Feb. 15 to the St. Albert Royals, and from that point on needed help from Sherwood Park in order to qualify. Step one was Sherwood Park needed to beat St. Albert, which they did by a 6-5 score. 

That set up a scenario where either of the three teams could qualify, depending on the outcome of the final game between Hinton and Sherwood Park. If Sherwood Park won, they advanced. If Hinton won by seven goals or less, St. Albert advanced. The only way for Hinton to advance was with a win of eight or more goals.

Hinton started strong and built a 2-0 lead in the first half on goals by Ella Kempin and Alyssa Klaver and then Kyara Bishop extended the lead to 4-0 early in the second half with a pair of goals.

Bishop’s second goal of the game was followed by a pivotal two-minute stretch where both Bishop and Ava Muyres were penalized just seconds apart. 

But the penalty kill unit dug deep and goalie Tegan Hills made some huge saves to keep Sherwood Park off the board and Hinton carried the momentum into a big goal with 6:31 remaining from Kennedy Davy to make it 5-0. 

Bishop then completed her hat trick to make it 6-0 with 4:32 remaining, setting up what would be a strange final few minutes that saw Hinton score three empty net goals, one of which was entirely uncontested off a face off, for a margin of victory that handed the provincial berth to Hinton and not St. Albert. 

Bishop scored two of those empty net goals, giving her five for the game, and Makenna Rushfeldt had the other. Muyres had two assists in the game, as did Rushfeldt, while Brielle Goupil, Ella Kempin, Eve Ferreira, Maya Callihoo and Gracey Kempin had one each.

Kaydence Hollingsworth had two goals and an assist in the 8-4 loss to St. Albert, while Bryn Dammann had a goal and an assist, Alyssa Klaver had two helpers and Gracey Kempin had one of her own.

Hinton had finished third in the Black Gold League U16 standings with a 4-4 record leading into play downs, while Sherwood Park was right behind at 3-4-1 and St. Albert was last at 1-6-1.

Hinton now has a three-week wait until provincials in Medicine Hat, while Sherwood Park and St. Albert battle again this coming weekend in Round 2 of qualifying (would love to be in the rink if those two teams face off, considering how this past weekend ended!).