The Warriors opened their season at home against the Nipissing Lakers in what was a very competitive contest with both goaltenders shining throughout. Waterloo's Stephanie Digness (Aldergrove) scored the lone goal and goaltender Rebecca Bouwhuis (Orillia) was her usual dominant self, stopping 21 of 22 shots in the contest. The Warriors would eventually lose in a shootout and open the season 0-1.
The contest was quite physical with both teams trying to establish dominance early. Nipissing seemed to be pushing the physicality early in the game and this led to a number of penalties for the visitors. Waterloo was on the power-play for nearly 6 minutes straight in the first period but could not capitalize on the man advantage. Neither team could break the deadlock going into the first intermission.
The Lakers would open up the scoring first when Sam Strassburger would cap off a nice pass from Kaley Tienmaara and beat Bouwhuis at the 6:03 mark in the second period. Waterloo increased their tempo after this goal and continued to create chance.
The Warriors continued to push offensively but were up against tough goaltending in Sabrina Picard. Picard made a number of great saves but was beaten on the powerplay at 14:32 of the second period when Stephanie Digness (Aldergrove) had a beautiful deflection tipped off a shot by Michelle Tanel (Toronto) to knot the game at 1.
The third period did not allow for much offence to be generated, as both teams seemed to be playing a bit more conservative. Nipissing had a chance to end the game late but Bouwhuis made a massive glove save with only 90 seconds left on the clock to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Warriors would go back to the power-play early when Lakers' Kayla Carter took a tripping penalty. Head coach Shaun Reagan called a timeout to rally the troops, but Nipissing defended the penalty well and a scoring opportunity was not created.
Warriors' Siobhan Hewitt-Kenda (North Vancouver) had the best chance in extra time as she gained the puck at the opposition blue line before getting blanked by Nipissing's Picard. The game needed to be settled in a shootout.
The Warriors elected to shoot first but after Bailey Bradt (Ilderton) missed the first opportunity, the Laker's Brooklyn Kallusky went high glove past Bouwhuis to put the visitor's ahead 1-0. After Marissa Redmond (Ajax) had her shot turned aside, Bronwyn Bolduc scored the winning goal for her team. The black and gold lost the game 2-1 in a shootout.
The Warriors don't have much time off as they host the Laurentian Voyageurs this Saturday at 2:30pm. Check out the game on oua.tv if you cannot cheer on the black and gold in person.
Source: Waterloo Warriors