Thunderbirds fall short against Wasps

It was another tough game for the Missisquoi girls hockey team when it hosted Woodstock on Wednesday.

For the second straight game to start the season, the Thunderbirds outshot their opponent, but couldn’t’ take advantage, as they fell to the Wasps 2-1 at Highgate Arena.

“I thought for all but the last five minutes of that game, we played a good game,” said Missisquoi coach Brian Fortin. “The thing we have lacked the first two games of the season is that aggressiveness, winning puck battles and being first to the puck. I thought we skated with this team really well, our passing was far and away better than it was in our first game, but we just aren’t getting those high-caliber scoring chances.”

With the score tied 1-1, Woodstock’s Isabel Konijnenberg skated into the zone and sniped a wrist shot inside the far post to give the team a 2-1 lead. Woodstock goalie Ava Dodson stood on her head during the rest of the third period, as the Thunderbirds made a mad dash trying to find the equalizer.

The Thunderbirds were called for their first two penalties of the season at a tough time late in the third period when they were trying to find the tying goal.

After Kassidy Haley found the back of the net for Woodstock in the first period, the Thunderbirds finally found their first goal of the season late in the second.

Brianna Jarvis used her speed to get around the Woodstock defenders and flipped a pass back to Brianna Parent, who flipped the puck toward the net. Karissa LeClair was in the right spot at the right time, as she connected with the bouncing puck to tie the game at 1-1.

Missisquoi just couldn’t find the equalizer as Dodson made some clutch saves down the stretch to give Woodstock the victory.

“I don’t think we are possessing the puck as well as we know we can,” said Thunderbirds assistant coach Adam Fortin. “I think we are panicking a little bit too much and when we thought we would get something going we were throwing it up the boards and out of the zone, so just have to be more consistent.”

Even though the Thunderbirds didn’t score on their one powerplay opportunity, the team moved the puck very well during the powerplay.

“We moved the puck well on the powerplay and thought that looked good,” said assistant coach Adam Fortin. “We have a lot of finishers on this team, but we just have to do a little better job setting other people up to finish.”

Despite the final outcome, it was a step in the right direction and Fortin is hoping the team continues to build and move forward in the shortened season and starts to click soon.

“I think we aren’t playing to quite where we know we can be,” said coach Brian Fortin. “We improved today and we just have to keep improving.”

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