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Sabres begin PWHL playoffs with back-to-back weekend wins

The Stoney Creek Junior Sabres opened their Provincial Women’s Hockey League best-offive playoff series against the London Junior Devilettes with two hard fought wins.

The Junior Sabres scored a 4-3 shootout win last Saturday at home, before skating to a 5-4 victory last Sunday on the road.

Sabres 4, Devilettes 3 After a scoreless first period, Sarah Nurse opened the scoring for the Sabres at the four-minute mark of the second, when she stole the puck outside the Devilettes’ blue-line, walked in and snapped a shot to the top corner.

The Devilettes tied the game up less than two minutes later, when a deflected point shot eluded Sabres goaltender Elaine Chuli.

Taylor Auld put the Sabres back on top less than a minute later, when her blast from the point found the back of the net. Kristen Barbara and Sam F o r c h i e l l i picked up the assists. At the 1 0 – m i n u t e mark, Kristen Clendinning blocked a pass and broke in only to fire her shot wide of the Devilettes’ net, but picked up a fortunate bounce off the boards and stuffed the puck in the short side.

The Devilettes came out strong in the third period and cut the lead to one at the two-minute mark, when the Sabres left a player unmarked in the slot. The Sabres were able to keep the Devilettes at bay until three minutes to go, when the Devilettes tied the game off a scramble in front of the Sabres’ net.

The Sabres needed an overtime shoot-out goal by Brandi Banks and superb goaltending by Chuli, who stopped all seven shots during the shoot out, to seal the win.

Sabres 5, Devilettes 4 The Devilettes opened the scoring with three minutes gone in the first period, when the Sabres got caught and the Devilettes converted a two-on-one.

The Sabres tied the game before the end of the period, when Sam Forchielli converted a pass directed from Sarah Nurse, who kicked the puck to Forchielli in the slot, on a Sabres power play. Sydney McKibbon picked up the second assist.

The Sabres took the lead in the second period, when Nicole LoPresti converted a Talia Paone pass from behind the net, as she fired a quick shot through the Devilettes goalie’s legs. At the 10- minute mark, the Devilettes tied the game on a power play, when the Sabres left a player unchecked at the side of the net. Forty seconds later, the Devilettes went up 3-2, when a screen shot from the point ended up in the top corner of the net. The Sabres answered back with two goals in 20 seconds, as Kristen Demik tied the game scoring on her own rebound with LoPresti and Rebecca Johnson picking up the assists. McKibbon and Forchielli then combined to hit Nurse with a pass and Nurse was able to score as she was being pulled down.

In the third, the Sabres opened a two-goal lead, when they scored in the third minute on a five-onthree power play. Paone scored from a goalmouth scramble, as Kristen Clendinning and LoPresti picked up the assists. The Sabres killed off a five-on-three of their own midway through the period, but the Devilettes made it 5-4 on a power play with three minutes to go, when they banged in a rebound off a point shot. The Sabres managed to whether the storm and goalie Elaine Chuli stood tall in the Sabres’ net.

Game three of the series took place Tuesday. Results were unavailable at press deadline.

The Sabres will travel tomorrow (Friday) to London for game four.

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