Sharks split weekend; hand Hounds first loss

By Nathan Kanter
November 13, 2017 - 2:00pm Updated: November 13, 2017 - 3:55pm

The Battlefords AAA Sharks outshot and outplayed the Notre Dame Hounds on Saturday night, but came away empty-handed after allowing the game-winning goal on a 2-on-1 rush with 48 seconds left in regulation.

On Sunday, however, they learned from it, after jumping out to a quick lead and holding on for a 6-4 win.

It was the Hounds first loss of the season in six games played.

"We're getting close to a 60-minute game," Sharks head coach Gary Berggren said when asked what the biggest takeaway from the weekend was. "It's been tough for our group to learn that you need to work for 60 minutes to be successful but a night like tonight, we had a little bit of a lull, but we're getting close."

That lull came midway through the third period, with the Sharks up 5-2.

Two quick Hounds goals in a span of one minute made it 5-4 with 4:55 left in the game. Madison Sansom's empty-net goal with 21 seconds left sealed the deal for the Sharks.

"We kind of stopped moving our feet after we went up by three," Berggren said. "In this league, you've got to play all the time. When you have a little lull, teams capitalize on that. It's another learning curve that we need to correct and hopefully, this is a good reminder for them."

When things started getting dicey, Berggren said he reminded the bench to keep doing what got them their lead in the first place, like outworking the opposition for pucks and going hard to the net.

"Keep shooting on net and create havoc in front," he said. "A lot of the AAA goals are scored by confusion in front of the net."

Lexxa Potratz was the Sharks first star on Sunday, as she netted two goals, including the game-winner. Affiliate player Mason Weese also scored in her first call-up of the season.

Goaltender Chloe Burt picked up her third win of the season by making 36 saves on 40 shots. She now carries a 3-4 record this season.

The team as a whole is now 3-9, but the win means a lot because the Hounds are a much-improved team from last year, after their junior program folded and some of those players went to this year's AAA club.

"For us, this is a big win," Berggren said. "[And yesterday] I thought we should have had a better result. But we had trouble around the net. We couldn't score."

On Sunday, the goals flowed.

"Last weekend in Weyburn, the pucks started to go in and now again it's the same," Berggren said. "We kind of were snake-bitten the first few games of the year so it's nice that it's going in now."

The Sharks travel to Swift Current next weekend for a pair of games against the Wildcats, who are 4-6-0-2 this season.

 

nathan.kanter@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @NathanKanter11

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