After yesterday’s massacre, the Markham Thunder met the Worcester Blades again this afternoon to finish their season series.
Erica Howe got the call in net for the Thunder. In front of her were Laura Fortino and Megan Bozek on the blue line and Laura Stacey, Victoria Bach and Jamie Lee Rattray at forward.
The Blades countered with Lauren Dahm in net, one of only a few starts this season for Dahm. Lauren Williams and Alexis Miller started on defence, with Demi Crossman, Megan Myers and Kaitlin Spurling up front.
The game starts off slowly, with neither team moving particularly fast. Eight minutes in, Kaitlin Spurling of the Blades is called for hooking and the Thunder go on the power play. About a minute into the advantage, Lauren Williams goes down hard into the boards and Rattray goes off for tripping.
The extra space granted by the four on four play benefits the Thunder. Bozek gets the first shot on goal since the Spurling penalty was called and then it’s Victoria Bach who gets the first goal. She goes bar down on Dahm to make it 1-0 Markham, with assists to Stacey and Fortino.
The penalty kill continues for Markham, allowing Worcester their first significant time in the Thunder zone.
A minute and a half after the Blades power play expires, Courtney Turner sends the puck out, resulting in a delay of game call and another Markham power play. Dahm makes a nice save on Jenna McParland but just over halfway through the player advantage, Bach scores through traffic to make it 2-0. Rattray is credited with the assist.
Carrie Atkinson goes off for bodychecking but the Thunder can’t capitalize on that power play. Dahm is making some spectacular saves today.
With just under two minutes left in the period, Blades rookie Nicole Anderson scores her first CWHL goal, assisted by Meghan Grieves, to make it 2-1. We might possibly have a hockey game!
Markham finishes the period with the lead, outshooting Worcester 16-6.
Dahm makes a split save early on to keep the score unchanged.
Blades get a flurry of chances on Howe. They seem to be inspired by the late first-period goal. The pace of the game is definitely picking up.
Atkinson goes off for holding but Markham can’t score on the power play.
Back at five on five, a failed clearing attempt by the Blades results in a Nicole Brown goal. 3-1 Thunder, assists to Kelly Gribbons and Becca King.
Jess Jones is called for bodychecking less than half a minute after the goal. Things get a little chippy and the Blades get a long 5 on 3 as Kristen Richards shoves Crossman and gets a bodychecking call of her own. Worcester calls their timeout.
It only takes a few seconds for Lauren Williams to get her first CWHL point by feeding Myers, who scores her first goal of the season. It’s 3-2 and things are getting very interesting. The Blades get a few chances on the rest of the five on four but can’t tie it up.
Blades definitely putting up a fight now, even at even strength, and the Thunder are spending far too much time in their own end.
Lauren Dahm makes another split save on Laura Stacey but Markham comes in to poke the puck through her pads. The Blades object, both with some shoving but also by discussing with the refs. Trainer comes out to have a look at Dahm.
Goal stands and it’s 4-2 Thunder, credited to Rattray with assists from Stacey and Bach. There are some very unhappy Blades, who believe their goaltender was shoved.
Bach gets the hat trick shortly thereafter, assisted by Stacey and Dahm is pulled in favour of Mariah Fujimagari. 5-2 for Markham.
Becca King is called for crosshecking on Grieves. The commentators are anticipating things boiling over. This seems to be borne out when a scramble in front of Howe devolves into more shoving.
Shorthanded goal from Nicole Kosta, 6-2
Atkinson goes off for the third time and the Thunder have some 4 on 4 time leading to a power play. Jocelyne Larocque dekes out Fujimagari to make it 7-2 with 24 minutes left in the game. Assist to Kristen Barbara. That’s four goals in less than three minutes. Things unravelled fast for Worcester.
8-2, Stacey from Bach and Rattray. The wisdom of taking out Dahm is unclear, unless she really was hurt, in which case the validity of the 4-2 goal comes even further into question.
Shots in the period were 23 to 14 in favour of Markham.
Play has calmed down again but the Thunder hit a couple of posts.
Nicole Anderson follows up her first CWHL goal with her second to make it 8-3.
Meaghan Spurling is called for slashing. The Thunder allow a couple of shorthanded rushes, which is really unnecessary.
Another post for the Thunder, this time from Nicole Brown.
Rattray and Jones get a 2 on 0 but one too many passes eliminates the possibility of a shot on goal. The score may be 8-3 but there’s no need to get fancy.
With 30 seconds left in the game Larocque tips a point shot that looks to come from Bozek but the assist is credited to Alexis Woloschuk and it’s 9-3.
There’s a short attempt in the dying seconds of the game to get Nicole Anderson a hat trick by running her as the fourth forward but time runs out before anything happens.
Final shots on goal stand at 57 for Markham and 31 for Worcester.
3. Laura Stacey, Markham Thunder (1 goal, 3 assists)
2. Nicole Anderson, Worcester Blades (2 goals, first CWHL goals)
1. Victoria Bach, Markham Thunder (3 goals, 2 assists)
- Victoria Bach has extended her point streak to nine games. She has 20 points through that period. She’s currently first in rookie scoring, fourth in league scoring, and eight points ahead of Jamie Lee Rattray for the Thunder scoring lead. The only player in the league who has scored more goals this season is Marie-Philip Poulin. She might be okay.
- Per the broadcast Erin Kickham is now the all-time Blades leader in games played, with 93. She was drafted in 2015, the first season after the departure of the USWNT. I don’t know if that’s a love of hockey or masochism.
- If the Thunder want to hang on to their playoff spot they can’t take their foot off the pedal like they did in this third period. Five games left and they need two more wins to guarantee them some offseason play.
- This was Kristen Richards’ 100th CWHL game./
Congratulations to @k_rich19 who just played her 100th regular season game 🎉💯 pic.twitter.com/zXs1hsBpZw— Markham Thunder 🌩 (@ThunderCWHL) February 3, 2019
The Thunder have next weekend off, but the Furies will head to Montréal for one game to play the Canadiennes on Saturday February 9 at 2:00 pm.