The benjamin ‘A’ BKRA Fusion took down Laval 4-3 in a physical tilt on Sunday afternoon at Place Bell.
“Well it was a combined effort,” said BKRA assistant coach Cindy Brown. “We talked about keeping their cool during the play, it was a very physical game and I didn’t want them to get any penalties that were not necessary.”
The Fusion wasted little time getting on the board, as they scored two goals in the opening five minutes of the game. Juliana Romero scored just over a minute into the first half, then assisted on Despina Vasiliou’s goal three minutes later.
“They’ve made great progress, we’re a fused team between two cities, so just that in itself is a challenge, but they’ve done really well and they’ve really merged together as a team,” Brown said.
BKRA was quickly turning the game into a barnburner, but Laval had different plans. The home team regained their footing, picking up the intensity and physicality. They responded with a goal at the 9:00 minute mark from Maya Coutu.
The game continued at a furious pace with the teams exchanging several scoring chances. They were matched by two battling goaltenders in Mélianne Cécile for Laval and Holly Raymond for BKRA.
The next goal didn’t come until the very last second of the first half. Noémie Ouellet found Raymond’s five hole with .8 seconds remaining on the clock to bring the game back to a tie.
Penalties became the story of the second half. Although neither team capitalized on the power play, it highlighted the competitiveness on the ice. But with the game tied at 3-3, the Fusion finally shook off their penalty troubles.
They broke Laval’s spirits with a goal from Elizabeth Mallais at the 5:41 mark. The goal stood as the game winner and brought BKRA back to a .500 record. Brown said she just kept reminding the girls to focus on what they’ve practiced this season.
“We told them it’s just all in their heads, they’ve got the skills, they’re able to do it; they just have to keep their control,” she said.