Team BC's women's hockey team battled in a tense game against Ontario to win the bronze medal 5-4 at the Canada Winter Games.
"It feels awesome. The whole game my heart was racing. We just have a great team and that last five seconds of the game you could really see it." said Team BC captain Kate Reilly (Richmond). "I had goosebumps and all I could think about in those last moments was don't let it get to the net. My teammate had a great block and I just went crazy on the inside."
It's the first medal for the women's Team BC program at the Games since they won a silver medal in 1991. BC lost their chance for a gold medal after a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to Alberta the day before in the semifinals — a team that they defeated in the preliminary pool play 6-1.
"It was difficult. We had a talk after about sticking together as team. We also talked about doing the things we do well, like blocking shots, passing, getting shots in net and really coming together for our last game," said Reilly, who added that players sacrificed their bodies to block passes and keep pucks away from the net throughout the tournament.
Anne Cherkowski (Coldstream) opened scoring in the first period for Team BC to give them a 1-0 lead as they headed into the middle frame.
Ontario fired back with a goal from Lindsay Bochna to tie the game 1-1. Just under three minutes later, Reilly scored to take back the lead for Team BC.
It only took 24 seconds for the score to be deadlocked once again, as Nicole Kelly put the puck past BC goalie Kayla Munro (North Vancouver). Ontario continued to pressure BC and took the 3-2 lead with 3:17 left in the second period when Gabrielle Davidson-Adams scored.
Ontario's Julia Gosling managed to net another goal in the third but it was a combination of offensive firepower from BC, backed by stellar defence that pushed them to the win. In the dying seconds of the game and both teams scrambling for the puck Jenna Buglioni (Port Moody) laid out in the defensive end to block a puck from getting to an open Ontario player.
"Anything for the team, I knew she was going to try and throw that puck in the middle so I just got my body down hoping it would hit me and stay out," said Buglioni. "These girls are amazing. They are all so dedicated to each other and this whole tournament we have been blocking shots and getting in passing lanes. Our goalies also played amazing. It starts from there and just shifts out."
BC goals in the third period came from Nina Jobst-Smith (North Vancouver), Cherkowski and Chanreet Bassi (Lake Country).