Friday, 5 February 2021

The Avros And Flames

If there's one game that stood out the most with respect to a fierce rivalry among teams that don't play one another, the Winnipeg Avros and the St. Mary's Academy Flames had a whale of a semifinal game. There was speed, skill, physicality, excellent goaltending, and some incredible action at both ends of the ice as these two teams demonstrated just how good hockey is at this tournament and in their respective leagues of the MFHL and CSSHL.

There's no denying that the Avros have been one of the best teams in the MFHL for some time, and they entered this game with a 3-0 record and having outscored their opponents 12-4 in the those three games. St. Mary's struggled in their final game against the Westman Wildcats where they lost 4-3, but they ended the tournament with a 2-1 record while outscoring their opponents 10-5. Both teams finished atop their pools, leading to this meeting of Winnipeg-based teams, and both were looking to bring their best with a berth in the gold-medal game on the line.

If you're the Winnipeg Avros, you've proudly sent a number of players on to the university level to play hockey, and that includes Rachel Gottfried who joins the Manitoba Bisons, Madisyn Smith, Hayley Johnson, and Jordan Mackow who will all play for the Trinity Western Spartans, Trinity Grove who will look for a spot with the Regina Cougars, Janelle Keam-Perrault who will skate for the AUS' University of Moncton Aigles Bleus, and Courtenay Bayes who will skate for the OUA's York University Lions. In ACAC news, Aliya Baker will skate for the SAIT Trojans. In ACHA news, Katrina Tobin will skate with the ACHA D-II Assiniboine Community College Cougars. In NCAA news, Jade Giesbrecht suits up for the NCAA D-II Post University Eagles.

The St. Mary's Academy Flames also boast a pile of players who play at the university level, and they should be proud to have developed Emily Shippam, Meagan Relf, Aimee Patrick, Ashley Keller, and Jessica Haner who will all suit up for the Manitoba Bisons, Nicole Black who will skate for the Calgary Dinos, Kate Bumstead and Lainie Nichols who skate for the Trinity Western Spartans, and Chloe Oleksiuk who will suit up for the AUS' StFX X-Women. In NCAA news, Reese Chuback will skate for the Union College Dutchwomen while former Flames defender Gabi Dawyduk opted for a scholarship with the NCAA D-II Minot State University Beavers to pitch for their softball program!

I am joined by Bryan "Svenny" Sveinson on this broadcast, and we get up to a lot of banter between each other as we call this game's action. We actually pick this game up at the start of the second period after some rather weird audio glitches in the first period. I'm not sure what happened, but we got it solved and fixed in the intermission. The only loss was missing the first-period goal by St. Mary's forward Ashley Keller.

To say these teams pushed the envelope might be the understatement of the year. There are hits, there's pushing, there's shoving, there are penalties, and there are three goals scored in total in this game. In a weird turn of events, Bryan even makes mention how the Bisons could use one player's skills only to have that player join the Bisons for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Cue the Twilight Zone music as Bryan shows off his psychic abilities! In the meantime, please enjoy the February 1 semifinal game between the Winnipeg Avros and St. Mary's Academy Flames from the 2020 Female World Sport School Challenge from the BellMTS Iceplex in Winnipeg!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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