The 14U Ice Dogs made a big statement in Kalispell on January 28. The ladies braved the 16-degree weather and played a doubleheader at the Kalispell outdoor rink. A couple of Three Forks players had a phenomenal day.
Acie Kelly and Aislynn Gifford of Three Forks had their season's best showing. Acie Kelly scored an impressive 5 goals and Aislynn Gifford also secured her first shutout with a 6-0 win over Helena. Emerson Krueger scored a beauty of an unassisted goal on a breakaway to close the first period. Tadley Kelly, Helen Ayotte, and Abigaill Kern were all credited with assists.
Ice Dogs' defense led by team Captain Maren Carr showed up big. They were able to keep pressure on Helena by locking down the blue line and keeping the puck in the attacking zone. Abigail Kern on defense made some great defensive plays including a perfect pass to Acie Kelly setting her up for the second goal of the game.
Coach Carr and Coach Sage have been pushing the ladies hard in practice. The results speak for themselves. The Ice Dogs played a clean game with no penalties and no breakdown on offense or defense.
The second game of the day was against the Flathead Fusion. Unfortunately, the Fusion continues to frustrate the Ice Dogs. They are a big and fast team which caused the Ice Dogs to struggle in the first period. Flathead was able to score a flurry of goals in the opening minutes putting the Ice Dogs on their heels. In the second and third periods, the Ice Dogs looked better and were able to slow Flathead down. Flathead came away with the win but the Ice Dogs showed resiliency and will continue to work on deficiencies in practice.
The next tournament will be a little closer to home when they travel to Helena on February 11 and 12 to take on Butte, Helena, and Flathead.