Playing in their first tournament of the season, the Salmon Arm Atom Girls Hockey team went unbeaten on their way to a gold-medal finish in Penticton.
When the team of 8 to 11 year olds arrived in Penticton for the PMHA tournament over the weekend, a game against Chilliwack was first on their schedule. The game ended in a 2-0 shutout win for Salmon Arm, with Takara Brett a shoe-in for player-of-the-game honours after scoring both goals.
The Salmon Arm team drew tournament hosts Penticton for their second game. The result was a 5-5 tie with goals scored for Salmon Arm by Jannika Pittendreigh and Avery Blair, as well as a hat trick by Andrea Bliss.
Eager for a win after the high-scoring tie, Salmon Arm took the ice against a team from Surrey and quickly got to work putting pucks in the net. Pittendreigh scored two goals in the first period and Brett kept up the offensive pace with a hat trick. A goal from Andrea Bliss capped off a 6-0 shutout win for Salmon Arm.
The convincing win over Surrey was enough to give the Atom girls another crack at the Penticton team in the championship game. The home team scored first early in the game, but the opening goal was answered by two goals from Bliss and another from Brett. Penticton didn’t score again until the final minute of the second period.
The home team scored again to tie the game 46 seconds into the third frame. Isabel Lake scored another for Salmon Arm. It was quickly answered by Penticton, before Pittendreigh scored twice in 10 seconds to put Salmon Arm up 6-4. Penticton scored again with 30 seconds remaining to make the score 6-5. Salmon Arm goalie Phoenix Buckler, who hadn’t played goal before October, fended off Penticton’s attempts to tie the game, holding on for a 6-5 win and earning player of the game honours in the process.