Slash tied up by Thunder

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Midget AAA female hockey teams batttle to a draw

Sunday’s battle of the juggernauts in the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League between the St. Albert Slash and Edmonton Thunder ended the same way it began — in a tie.

In the first period, the Slash built a quick two-goal lead over the north division-leading Thunder (10-0-2) on tallies by Jessica Kampjes and Krystal Reithmayer, who scored the second goal on the power play.

Although his team grabbed the early lead on a very strong opponent, Slash head coach Terry Sydor was disappointed his team didn’t build on that advantage.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game and a big challenge. We got the lead and had many chances to score to basically put the game out of reach,” Sydor said after the 2-2 draw at Castledowns Arena.

The second and third periods saw an array of offensive and defensive displays by both teams but the Thunder were the only team to score with a pair of goals. Their tying marker came in the third period with less than four minutes remaining. Shots were 38-21 for the Thunder. In net was Emily Mitchell.

Sydor believes a big reason the Slash ended up with one out of two points on the day rests with his squad’s decision to get too fancy.

“We were too cute with the puck at times and their goalie [Morgan Glover] is very good,” he said. “A few bad breaks, the momentum swung and we lost a point today.”

While a win would have been nicer then a tie, which failed to gain the Slash (8-2-2) any ground on the Thunder’s four point lead in the standings, Kampjes said coming away with a point was more meaningful with this particular opponent. At the 2010 Esso Cup in Regina, the Thunder won the bronze medal as the Pacific Region rep. The Slash are the host team for the 2011 nationals, April 17 to 23 at Servus Credit Union Place

“They’ve been our rival for a long time so it’s nice to tie them. It’s a good accomplishment,” Kampjes said.

The Slash recently returned from a series of exhibition games that were played in the Boston region. Getting a chance to play against some of the top levels of American women’s hockey was an experience his team won’t soon forget, according to Sydor.

“It was an incredible performance. We played some very good hockey down there and the girls played great,” he said. “We even beat the defending under-19 American champions.”

Coming away with wins against older and stronger opponents was a sign of the team’s potential.

“Just knowing that we can beat any team, we have that momentum now. We know we can get it done,” said Kampjes.

Their first game back was Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Lloydminster Steelers (1-13) in St. Albert. Kate Lumley and captain Melissa Kueber scored twice and Kampjes had one goal and one assist. The Slash dominated the shot count 42-10. In net was Chloe Sanderson.

This weekend the Slash host the Sherwood Park Fury (5-9) Saturday at 2:15 p.m. at Performance Arena and Sunday visit the Spruce Grove PAC Saints (2-11) at 2 p.m. at Grant Fuhr Arena.

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