Force find winning formula at ringette nationals

Thompson Okanagan U16AA Force got on a winning roll on the consolation side of the Canadian Ringette Championships in London, Ont

Thompson Okanagan U16AA Force got on a winning roll on the consolation side of the Canadian Ringette Championships in London, Ont.

The Force, now Team B.C. at the nationals, won their first two games on the consolation side Wednesday, beating Saskatchewan 5-3 and the Central Alberta Sting 6-5 in overtime.

Salmon Arm’s Emily Williams had three goals, including the overtime winner, against the Sting. Madi Fox (Vernon), Emily Elsom (Kelowna) and Kayt Meraw (Lake Country) had the other markers while Vernon’s Evan Koshure added two assists.

Elsom led the way against Saskatchewan with a goal and three helpers. Meraw scored 1+1, and Vernon’s Abby Williamson and Alyssa Racine each chipped in a goal, Williamson’s being a tricky partially-planned bank shot off an opponent defender’s skate.

Georgia Gregory (Kelowna) made some timely, quality saves in front of a large contingent of Prairie-green fans to solidify the victory.

The Force dropped their third game of the consolation round robin Thursday morning, a 7-6 overtime decision to Ontario5 in an exciting game.

Racine and Elsom had two goals each for the Force, who battled back from a 6-4 deficit on sheer internal motivation as the team was down another two skaters due to injury, and motivated by a highlight reel blocker save by Gregory to tie the game on goals by Meraw and Racine with just over  six minutes to go.

The last six minutes of regulation and all five-and-a-half of overtime were back and forth, exciting, and tense, as the teams traded chances.

The Force finished second in their consolation pool and began the single knockout consolation playoffs Thursday afternoon with a 6-3 win over Alberta’s Zone 5 Pak.

Racine led the offence with 2+2, Vernon’s Emma Carter chipped in three helpers and Koshure added 1+2. Single markers came from Williams and Meraw and Delainey Gregory (Kelowna), both into empty nets.

The Force went 0-4 in the preliminary round, which wrapped up Tuesday with a pair of losses, 10-3 to London, Ont. and 8-2 to the Edmonton Elite.

Elsom scored twice against London, one assisted by Brooklyn Keller (Kelowna), and the other on a breakaway set up by a sweet pass from Williamson.

Racine had the other goal on an unassisted shot that went through both a defender and the goalie’s legs.

Koshure sent the Force crowd into a frenzy against Edmonton, scoring just seven seconds in on a backhand pass from Racine, who later added the second goal from Williamson and Williams.