Congratulations to the CSLR Renards, the 2017-18 Winnipeg Free Press Division 2 Champions.
This is an incredible accomplishment for the Renards, who as a first year team faced many challenges on the road to earning their title. The Renards finished 6th place in regular season, and then went on to defeat the defending Champion Garden City Gophers in the quarter finals, and the first-ranked Beliveau Barracudas in the semi-finals to advance to the Championship round. Their competition, the Sanford Sabres who also had a memorable journey to the final playoff series. The Sabres won the Hire Marketing Division 3 Championship last season, and moved up to Division 2 this season, where they finished in 5th place. During playoffs, the Sabres rallied to defeat the fourth-ranked Springfield Sabres in a hotly contested quarter final series, and then defeated the second-ranked SJR Eagles in the semi-final round, setting the final match up: Sanford Sabres vs CSLR Renards.
In the Championship series, the CSLR Renards defeated the Sabres in game one with a 2-1 shoot out win. In an action-packed game two, the Renards got on the board with 2 seconds left in the first period (Jeffrey, Maitre). Mid-way through another hard fought period, the Renards scored again at 8:39 (Erickson, Jeffrey) for a 2-0 lead. Two minutes later, the Sabres answered that goal (Eisbrenner, Fischer), narrowing the Renards lead to one goal. Nine seconds later, the Sabres took a penalty, which they managed to kill off, but just as their player was leaving the penalty box, the Renards scored another goal (Jeffrey, Erickson). Then at the 3:53 mark, Jeffrey scored her third goal of the game (assisted by Nadeau, Maitre) increasing the Renards lead to 4-1. The response from Renards’ fans was immediate and loud – chanting “Kara, Kara, Kara” and covering the ice with hats. In the third period, the Sabres opened the scoring with a goal at 12:13 (Drozd, Talbot), but at 10:26, the Renards on fire, power forward Jeffrey broke away from the pack to score her fourth goal of the game, short-handed – and the rink erupted again. Renards now ahead 5-2. With the clock winding down and the title at stake, the Sabres picked up momentum and scored back to back goals – one at 8:08 (Thompson, Drozd) and one at 3:20 (Magarrell). Now the Sabres’ fans were raising the roof with cheers as their team closed the gap to one goal. Renards ahead 5-4, but the Sabres were not done. Taking possession on the next face-off, the Sabres goalie headed for the bench, the sixth attacker came out – and the next two minutes were as thrilling as it gets. The Sabres threw the puck at the net again and again, and then it hit the post and headed out of the zone. As the defence scrambled to throw it back in, the Renards’ Daigneault intercepted the puck. She quickly passed it up to her teammate Alyssa Erickson who found the empty net – securing the Renards’ 6-4 victory.
The Stars of the Game were:
- 1st Star – Kara Jeffrey, CSLR Renards
- 2nd Star – Olivia Thompson, Sanford Sabres
- 3rd Star – Natalie Bacon, CSLR Renards
The CSLR Renards and the Sanford Sabres will be honored at the WWHSHL Excellence and Leadership Awards on Monday, April 16, 2018. For detailed series and playoff information, please visit 2017-18 Playoffs.