The Swift Current U15 A Colts are provincial champions after sweeping the previously unbeaten Saskatoon Comet Vipers in the best of three Saskatchewan Female Hockey League U15 Championship Final.
Swift Current scored a thrilling 4-3 victory at the Fairview East Arena on Thursday night, capping an impressive 10-1 playoff run.
Taya Shotter scored the winning goal on a two-man power play with 3:11 left in regulation to lift the Colts to the championship clinching win. Swift Current led the contest 2-1 after the opening period, but the well matched teams skated to a 3-3 tie after 40 minutes of play. Swift Current also had a pair of goals from Sienna Watson and a single marker from Sydney Longmore. Bailey Fox picked up the win in goal thanks to a number of impressive glove saves.
Isabelle Gottselig was the game one hero for the Colts, scoring with one second remaining in the first overtime period to spark Swift Current to the 5-4 win. In that win Swift Current erased a 3-1 first period deficit to earn the hard fought victory. Sienna Watson scored 1:44 into the game to give the Colts the early advantage, but Saskatoon scored three unanswered to lead after 20 minutes. In the second period Gottselig scored twice to even the game at 3-3. After Saskatoon opened a 4-3 lead just 1:11 into the final period, Sienna Watson sent the game into an extra session by scoring her second of the game just 47 seconds later. Colts goaltender Bailey Fox picked up the Game One victory.
Colts Head Coach Shayne Stewart said the team’s playoff run after a 7-9-4 regular season was an impressive achievement.
“It has just been an unbelievable run for the girls. They’ve had great games. They worked hard and they only lost one game so they’ve just done a great job in playoffs,” Stewart said moments after the championship banner presentation.
“They all came together and played well all season long, but especially here at the end they truly played as a team. Each one of them contributed to making this possible and they all worked hard for it. A great job for the girls.”
After posting a 7-9-4 regular season record and finishing fourth in the South West Division standing, the Colts went on a Cinderella run in the playoffs.
In the opening round of the South West Division playoffs the Colts downed Moose Jaw in two straight by scores of 3-1 and 4-0. Then when facing the South West regular season champion Regina Rebels Red, the Colts used a pair of overtime upsets, 1-0 and 4-3, to advance to the next round. In the South West Division Championship final the Colts upended the second place Wood River SWT Ice Cats by scores of 4-1 and 8-4.
In the South Provincial Final the Colts needed three games to eliminate the Prairie Ice who were the South East Division Champions. Swift Current won the opener 6-3 on home ice, and then suffered their first playoff loss 4-1 in Game Two. The Colts rebounded for a 4-1 win in the third and deciding game to advance to the provincial final.
In the provincial championship final the Colts were matched against the Saskatoon Comet Vipers who posted an undefeated 19-0-2 regular season record to place as the top team in the Saskatchewan Female Hockey League U15 A Division. The Comet Vipers won the North Division Championship banner by rolling to a perfect 8-0 record.
“Each round got a little tougher for them and that’s why the scores kept getting closer. But each time we found a way to find that winning goal and win those games,” Stewart said of their playoff run.