By Mike Pearson, News staff
The Stoney Creek Sabres moved one step closer to a spot in the Esso Cup semifinals with a 3-0 win over Pacific BC representative the Fraser Valley Phantom on Monday night at Gateway Ice Centre.
With the win, the Sabres sit tied with the surprising Weyburn Gold Wings atop the national midget female hockey standings. Both teams are now 2-0 heading into Tuesday’s action.
Amanda Butterfield, Natasha Costello and Victoria Klimek scored for Stoney Creek and Serena D’Angelo stopped all 18 shots for a shutout in her Esso Cup debut.
The hard-luck Phantom, who were beaten 1-0 by the Edmonton Thunder on Sunday, have yet to score in two games.
D’Angelo admitted she was a little nervous coming into the game. She credited her teammates for playing a sound defensive game while keeping opposing shooters outside the face-off circles whenever possible.
“I just have to remember to play my game and treat it as a normal game,” said D’Angelo, 16.
D’Angelo and her teammates head into Tuesday’s action looking for redemption against a Sudbury Lady Wolves team that beat the Sabres just eight days ago for the OWHA title.
“They’re kind of our rivals,” said D’Angelo, who notes her team has beaten Sudbury in three of four match-ups this season. “It’ll be good to get a ‘W’tomorrow.”
The Sabres and Lady Wolves face off Tuesday at 7 p.m.
If bragging rights weren’t enough, a win tomorrow night would also clinch a spot in the semi-finals for the Sabres, who face off against the 1-1 Lady Wolves. In day one action, the Sabres throttled the Moncton Rockets 8-1.
Victoria Klimek, who scored the Sabres’ third goal in the final period, was named Stoney Creek’s player of the game on Monday. The line of Klimek, Alexa Vasko and Claire Merrick has been Stoney Creek’s most dangerous thus far. With a defence-first philosophy, the Sabres took care of their own end and capitalized on the time and space their opponents provided. A case in point was Klimek’s third period goal, which came on a two-on-one rush.
“This team had a lot more speed than the team we first faced and we had to really have a tight defensive zone first…,” said Kilmek. ”We don’t really play teams that have as much speed as ours. Today was pretty fast, so we had to play defensively.”
Along with the undefeated Host team Stoney Creek and West Region representative Weyburn, the Pacific Alta. representative Edmonton Thunder and Team Ontario’s Sudbury Wolves are tied for third at 1-1, followed by winless Fraser Valley and Atlantic representative Moncton, both 0-2.