SIX NATIONS — This past Saturday’s matches for the fourth week of the ALL Women’s Division saw some standings changes: the Shockwave swapped the Snipers for second place, and the RiverWolves maintained their first place reign with the Steelhawks making an effort to move out of the bottom.
But the matches were a bit different this weekend.
The Lady Snipers met with the Steelhawks to start the evening off and it was easy to forget that it wasn’t until the third week of games that the Steelhawks could bury some shots. Their roster has come to include a few extra legs and experience and it showed on the scoreboard.
Rather than being nullified by the other teams as they have previously, the Steelhawks were able to return four goals and finish the game versus the Snipers 4-11. Even for the third game of the day, they were able to return three goals to finalize their match with the Shockwave 3-10.
The Shockwave however, were out to make some waves. Hosting several seasoned players from Six Nations, the Shockwave formerly rested in a comfortable third place position. But this week they came to go for the top ranked team. In a game of solid back and forth, the Shockwave shocked the RiverWolves with a win 4-3 and then went on to defeat the Steelhawks by seven points. This brought their ranking from third to second.
For the Snipers, they have only faced one match with the Shockwave and as the defending home champions of last season Women’s ALL Cup, their eyes are set upon beating the RiverWolves themselves.
Stacked with skilled non-native players from across the board and backed by an experienced bench, the RiverWolves entered the first week with nothing but wins and have only suffered the sole loss to the Shockwave since. This made the match between the Snipers and RiverWolves a game of opportunity for both.
The first period started what became a game of back and forth, with an unassisted goal off of the draw by B. Tremblay within minutes. This closed the scoring for the period, but in the second, the goal was returned by the RiverWolves with a fully unassisted goal themselves.
They then buried again, but both sides began to find themselves in the penalty box as the stakes for the game started to rise.
After a lot of push back, the RiverWolves fought to keep their lead, but Mackenzie Bomberry landed an overhand outside shot over the shoulder of the RiverWolves tender Jaylyn Grierson. The RiverWolves returnED it moments later however. But after several tries in minutes, Mia Martin also buried with a side arm two minutes later to tie the game.
The third period had the RiverWolves coming back with a strong effort, as they racked up three goals, with two being unassisted, throughout the fifteen minutes. The Snipers were only able to return one by Miranda VonHanke, who put in a lot of effort on defence and transition. This left them to play catch up in the fourth as the RiverWolves presided the game 4-6.
Five minutes into the fourth, newcomer Wadatawi Bomberry buried with a side arm with help from Tremblay and Bomberry.
From there on out the game grew sloppy on both sides, as pressure and anticipation seemed to rile players on both sides. Formerly clean passes were replaced by mistakes on offence while both teams relied heavily on defence to keep the game from swaying either way.
With only seconds remaining and as the ball made its way to the other end, RiverWolves goaltender Grierson left her crease to try for the ball in the corner. However, as a goalie can be treated like another player if they leave their crease, Bomberry took the opportunity to slam her into the boards with a legal cross check. However, with Griersons proximity to the boards, this resulted in a reckless endangerment call and a semi-line brawl as three RiverWolves players took to grabbing onto Bomberry and thrashing.
As Snipers players ran to defend Bomberry, bodies were thrown and cages were grabbed, as officials took several minutes to regain control of the brawl and end the game without a handshake line. This finalized the match 5-6 for the RiverWolves, but may result in future retaliation and a fearsome rivalry between the two teams.