JAY–While it did not start out as an highly offensive contest, it certainly finished as one, as the North Country hockey girls pumped in seven third period goals, routing the Woodstock Wasps 10-2 on Wednesday night.
The Falcons got scoring from five different players, two hat-tricks, one play-maker, and twenty-five total points in their highest offensive output of the season.
Emilie Paul got scoring started in the first period when she fired a low wrister past Woodstock netminder Emma Astbury, who is listed as a defenseman on the Wasps roster. Adrianna Fournier had the assist.
Corrina Cota was Falcon number two in the goal-scoring column when she beat Astbury 6:34 into the first. Taylor Morley and Avery Parsons-Grayson picked up helpers on the goal.
Crease Morley got the final goal of the frame, banging home a rebound to make it 3-0 at the end of one.
The second period was not a pleasant one for the Falcons. The score by this point should have been much higher, but the team for some reason refused to shoot the puck low, instead hitting Astbury in the chest, or placing the puck where she could easily swat it away with her glove of blocker.
"It was frustrating, the goalie was just standing there and they would shoot it right at her," said Bernier, " (We told them) shoot for a corner, shoot it on the ice, just pick a corner."
Morley tried to explain it, saying, "I am a naturally high shooter, so when the coach tells you too shoot low it's different, it's harder."
Coach Paul had expanded his bench, but the team struggled to find any chemistry.
Woodstock on the other hand closed the gap to two when Delany Little beat Tara Langmaid five hole while shorthanded and the ref signaling for another penalty against NCU.
"There was just no rhythm. None at all, The second period was a fiasco," said Bernier, "It was the worst we had played all season."
Frustrations mounted for the Falcons as they struggled to get their offense in motion, and things finally spilled onto the ice with a minute left to play in the second.
Fresh off the man-advantage, North Country was poised to go back on PP after Woodstock's Alexa Krawczyk cheap shotted Cota in the back.
However Cota's temper got the better of her and she retaliated with a shove of her own. This led to Krawczyk throwing a punch and getting shone the door as she was hit with ol' five for fighting and a game misconduct. Cota was given two and ten, and never saw the ice for the rest of the game.
In the third, after what was most definitely a stern intermission chat with their coaches, North Country quit screwing around, went back to two lines, and went into full assault mode on the Wasp's net.
Morley kicked it off when she parked herself in her favorite spot right in front of the net and tipped in a Parsons-Grayson shot.
Whitney Bernier, who had been kept off the score sheet up to this point, scored a terrific back hand goal, swooping in and sliding the puck home (Paul was credited with the goal on the score sheet, but it was clearly Bernier's).
She replicated the feat a minute later, the only difference being that she was two feet closer to the net on this one. She was given proper credit this time.
Morley then came in on the breakaway twenty-one seconds later, looking to complete the hat-trick, but was hooked by a Wasp and missed.
But, there was a chance for redemption as she was awarded a penalty shot.
No pressure right?
"I was nervous, I couldn't have been more nervous with all those eyes on me, and I usually don't get nervous over much," said Morley.
With the crowd growing in numbers and the noise rising in decibels, she skated to center ice, grabbed the puck, headed in and... missed.
It seems everyone was thinking the same thing after the shot; next time she gets on the ice, she is going to going to bury that puck with a vengeance.
Said Morley, "As soon as I got back to the bench I told my coach I was going to score the next time out."
On her next shift she missed on her first shot, but the second one accomplished the mission, as she got the puck from Jenna Moss and fired it home with a purpose.
Bernier struck again, followed by Fournier. Then, after technically already scoring the hat-trick, Bernier made it official on the score sheet when she walked through the Woodstock team and tucked the puck home.
Woodstock would tally again, but by this time it did not matter.
Langmaid had ten saves on the night while the Falcons fired thirty-five shots at the Woodstock net, averaging an amazing one goal every 3.5 shots.
Things will not be this easy Saturday morning as Rice comes up to the Ice Haus for their rematch with the Falcons. Last time out North Country defeated the Green Knights by just one goal, and with some of Rice's key players returning from injury, it will be tight affair for the Falcons.
Puck drops at the unusual start time of 11:00 in the morning.