West Chester, Pa. – The Girls Tier I 14U Pittsburgh Penguins Elite utilized four first period goals on their way to a 7-1 victory over the Washington Pride in the Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships.
“We’ve just taught the girls to come out and try to own the first five minutes,” said head coach Ashley Vesci. “They came out with a lot of energy yesterday and suffered a tough loss, but told them to bring that same energy and they did and so I think that’s how we got there."
The scoring started early for Pittsburgh, as Teagan Radeke scored at the 14:58 mark. Her shot from the point hit the shoulder of Pride goaltender Taylor Wilkerson and bounced over her into the net.
Later in the period, the lead was extended to 3-0 following two goals in 14 seconds. Natalia Disora scored the first of the two. After missing an open net when the puck rolled up her blade and sailed over the net, she gathered both herself and the puck on the other side of the cage and did not miss her second chance. Payton Palsa added the third goal of the period shortly after when she came down the left side and scored.
After a diving stop by Wilkerson kept it 3-0 for the moment, Disora scored her second goal of the period shorthanded. She stole the puck from the Pride defender and tucked it through the five hole.
Pittsburgh added a goal in the second period on a Shayna Parry goal. She got the puck at the top of the right circle on a 5-on-3 and put it home.
The score would remain 5-0 until the third, when Pittsburgh struck with 8:06 remaining. Zoey Krock came down her strong side and fired a short side, top shelf shot past Pride goaltender Claire Martin.
The Pride would score their first goal of the tournament with 6:45 to go. On a 2-on-1 rush, Olivia Robbins collected a rebound and put it past Penguins goaltender Liviya Rubin. Today's game was Rubin's second consecutive game allowing just one goal, after she stopped 14 of 15 shots in a shootout loss yesterday. The Penguins would add a final tally later in the frame, when Neely Hawn scored on a rush.
“[Heading into tomorrow] our kids are hungry for it, they know the stakes are high. I think we have good confidence, and the good thing was we still played the game the right way,” said Vesci. “It wasn’t a huge individual effort, so if we come out and play like a team again tomorrow, we have a really good shot and moving on to the next step.”
Chicago Young Americans 5, Minnesota Green Giants 0: Carla McSweeney scored the first four goals for CYA in their win over Minnesota. Lily Bowman assisted on two of those goals, and Brigidelle Ori added the other marker. Brooke Ward made 31 saves.
Chicago Mission 5, LA Lions 0: Ella Pukala potted a hat trick in the shutout win. Peyton Oneill collected a goal and an assist, and Sadie Klein scored the other Mission goal. Heather Wolff made 24 saves in the win.
Philadelphia Jr. Flyers 5, Buffalo Bison 1: Nina Rossi recorded a hat trick for the hometown team in the 5-1 win. Taylor Scott and Ella Sennick scored the other two Flyers goals. Kiersten Smith scored the Buffalo goal.
Minnesota Lakers 5, Team Colorado 1: Five different players scored for Minnesota in their win over Team Colorado. Ruby Rauk got the scoring started for the Lakers, followed by goals by Haley Schiel, Lauren Mack and Lauren Karl (the two Lauren's each assisted on the other's goal). Evelyn Latka scored the lone Team Colorado goal and Lorelai Nelson rounded out the scoring.
Hartford Jr. Wolfpack 2, Minnesota Walleye 1: Talia Ondy and Sydney Courtmanche combined to help the Wolfpack to the 2-1 victory. Elizabeth Hamel scored for the Walleye. Lauren Ferrari stopped 22 of 23 shots in the win.
Detroit Little Caesars 9, NJ Colonials 1: Addison Spitz and Paige Cline each recorded hat tricks and added two assists apiece in the Little Caesars win. Madelyn Slocum, Hannah Husted and Drew Dyczkowski also scored. Charlotte Greer netted the lone Colonials goal. Sophia Sidell pitched a shutout.
East Coast Wizards 6, Team North Dakota 1: Morgan McGathey had a three-point effort with two goals and an assist in the East Coast 9-1 win. Sienna Berardinelli got the scoring started, and Zola Piekarski, Caroline Averill and Molly Maccurtain also added markers.