Lady Gens hold off Essex to advance in WECSSAA girls hockey playoffs

 

Gillian Sparling fights off a check and fires the puck into the Essex zone during Amherst’s 5-2 playoff victory last Thursday afternoon.

Gillian Sparling fights off a check and fires the puck into the Essex zone during Amherst’s 5-2 playoff victory last Thursday afternoon.

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens have advanced in the WECSSAA girls hockey playoffs but their first round playoff game wasn’t always easy.

The Lady Gens got out to a 4-0 lead in last Thursday afternoon’s elimination game at the Libro Centre against the Essex Red Raiders but the visitors clawed back with a pair of quick third period goals to cut the Amherst lead in half. An empty net goal sealed the win for Amherst.

Assistant coach Dan Pettypiece said they play longer periods in the playoffs and the girls may have let their foot off the gas too early and let Essex make the game more interesting at the end.

“We don’t like interesting,” said Pettypiece. “The idea is to try and have our foot on the pedal.”

Pettypiece said goalie Megan Wismer made key saves for the Lady Gens in the win.

The Lady Gens had some “easy” games early in the season, he said, but tougher competition is coming. Pettypiece said opponents are looking to hand the Lady Gens their first loss of the season.

“Every team we play is going to try and put a loss on our record,” he said. “We don’t have one in Essex County.”

The Lady Gens scored two goals 17 seconds apart in the first period off the blades of Gillian Sparling and Emily Hamelin. Savannah Bouzide scored both second period goals to give the Lady Gens a 4-0 lead heading into the third period but Corey Fuerth scored two goals 26 seconds apart just past the midway of the third period to make it a 4-2 game.

Bouzide scored her third goal of the game into an empty net with 32 seconds left to round out the scoring.

Lady Gens captain Maria Goggin said they got off to a good start but let up towards the end. She believed Wismer deserved a shutout but noted the fact they got the win is what is most important.

“We won. That’s all that matters right now,” said Goggin.

The Lady Gens look forward to playing tough teams like Leamington and Belle River, she added.

“They are  good, just like us,” she said. “I guess we’ll have to see who wants it more.”

The Lady Gens play their next game Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre against the winner of Wednesday’s L’Essor-Leamington game.

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