The Missoula Lady Bruins U19 hockey team defeated Coeur d’Alene Academy 3-1 in an overtime shootout Sunday morning at Glacier Ice Rink to win the Northern Rockies Classic Tournament title.
After a scoreless first period, Missoula’s Shay Ewing scored first with 10 minutes to go in the second period. Two minutes later, Coeur d’Alene’s Maya Wagner tied the game. After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game went to a shootout. Ewing and senior Jaden Neilson both scored for Missoula, and senior Aubrey McKay blocked all the shots from Coeur d’Alene to secure the win and the tournament title for the Lady Bruins. McKay had 21 saves in the game, and Missoula outshot the Academy 45-22.
“Today’s game was a gutsy performance from our team,” said head coach Grace Hoene. “We were playing short for a long period of time, and our girls just gave it their all. It was a gritty game today, and for the first time in a very long time, we won the shootout. It was an awesome game.”
While the Lady Bruins won the Northern Rockies “B” League title in both 2017 and 2018, this is the first time the Missoula team has won the “A” League title.
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“It is so much more fun for us to play at home in front of our family and friends,” said Nielsen, who secured the win for Missoula. “But winning our home tournament in front of a pretty large crowd on a Sunday afternoon is a great feeling. Today’s game was the last time our senior class will suit up here, so it’s absolutely awesome that we are going out with a win over a highly-competitive team in our own tournament.”
Missoula advanced to the title game with a 4-0 win over Utah late Saturday night. The Lady Bruins got goals from Madeleine Heggen, Ewing, Disa Doherty and Waverly Winterer. McKay got the shutout in goal with 12 saves. Missoula outshot Utah 43-12.
Missoula improved to 20-6 on the season and will rest next weekend. The Lady Bruins will next compete Jan. 24-26 at the Salmon, Idaho, Tournament.