Team B.C. are the back-to-back bronze medallists at the 2017 Under-18 Women’s Nationals.                                Hockey Canada images

Team B.C. are the back-to-back bronze medallists at the 2017 Under-18 Women’s Nationals. Hockey Canada images

Team B.C. wins bronze at women’s hockey nationals

Several Okanagan players represented the province at the national hockey tournament

Team B.C. are the back-to-back bronze medallists at the 2017 Under-18 Women’s Nationals in Quebec City.

Rylind MacKinnon (Cranbrook/Northern Alberta, CSSHL) dropped to one knee for a powerful one-timer blast that will send B.C. back to the West Coast with the bronze medal. The goal came on the power play and after peppering the Saskatchewan goalie with a four on three advantage, MacKinnon lasered the puck to the back of the net to give B.C. the 2-1 victory. Assists were given to Danika Pasqua (Langley/Pacific, JWHL) and Courtney Vorster (Richmond/Shattuck-St.Mary’s, USHS).

B.C. got on the board first with a goal coming near the midway mark of the second period. Winning the foot race to the puck deep in the Saskatchewan zone, Jenna Buglioni (Port Moody/Greater Vancouver, BCFMAAA) charged to the net shovelling the puck past Jordan Ivanco putting them up 1-0. Assists were given to Katie Chan (Richmond/Fraser Valley, BCFMAAA) and Anne Cherkowski (Coldstream/Pursuit of Excellence, CSSHL).

Saskatchewan bounced back to even things up 1-1 with 18 seconds remaining in the middle frame when a shot from the point was blocked and Miranda Hatt was perched at the side of the net to put the rebound past B.C. netminder Kendra Woodland (Kamloops/Thompson OMAHA).

Featuring a number of players from the Okanagan, Team B.C. was undefeated through the preliminary round until they met tournament favourites Ontario Red in the semifinal on Saturday. Ontario Red, who have won gold at 10 of the last 11 national’s, defeated B.C. 6-1.

Related: Team B.C. undefeated at U18 women’s hockey nationals

Ontario Red’s offence was explosive in the first period, giving them a 3-0 lead heading into the second period. They added two more in the middle frame. B.C.’s Mikayla Capelle (Dawson Creek/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) finally got B.C. on the board with a power play goal with under six minutes left in the second period. Ontario Red scored the lone goal in the third.

Opening the tournament B.C. shut out Saskatchewan 2-0. Okanagan Hockey Academy forward Reece Hunt (Nelson) and Chanreet Bassi (Lake Country/Delta Hockey Academy, CSSHL) found the back of the net for B.C. in that game. In their other preliminary match, B.C. defeated Manitoba 3-0.

Other players from the Okanagan or playing on Okanagan based teams include: Sophie Lalor (Penticton/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) and Jaise Skinner (Penticton, Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL).

Ontario Red plays Ontario Blue at 4:15 p.m. (EST) in the gold medal game. The game will be aired on TSN2.

On Saturday, Alberta defeated Quebec 4-1 to earn fifth place. Manitoba beat Atlantic 2-1 to take seventh place.

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