Maddie Rooney was spectacular on Wednesday afternoon for the PWHPA All-Stars, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Northern Cyclones of the USPHL’s Premier League. Rooney made 35 saves, including 12 in the opening period, but the Cyclones scored five times on 40 shots and took a 5-1 decision at AdventHealth Center Ice.
The first period saw the Cyclones jump out to a strong start, firing the first seven shots of the game on Rooney. The Cyclones’ momentum seemed to die just over seven minutes into the game, when oddly enough Gigi Marvin took a penalty. The PWHPA killed off the slashing minor with relative ease, and then fired eight of the last 12 shots of the opening period.
Scoreless at the break, it felt like the PWHPA had gotten their legs underneath them and were gaining steam. Then Ben Peterson changed the narrative. Peterson took a feed from Andrew Nieusma and wheeled into the offensive zone less than a minute into the second period. He pulled up and fired a shot towards goal that grazed the shoulder of Rooney and found the back of the net. Just 36 seconds into the period, the Cyclones gained the lead.
They wouldn’t lose it.
Travis Marchant took a centering feed from Tommy Buis and buried it to make it 2-0 at 13:44 of the second period. Marchant’s goal would stand as the game winner. Jackson Tillinghast, the Cyclones’ leading scorer, added two goals in the third period, while Jake Parent’s seeing-eye shot also found twine.
Hayley Scamurra would score the PWHPA’s lone goal in the game, firing a shot from the point that caught the leg of a Cyclone out front and fooled Trevor Wong in the final minute or regulation. Scamurra scored twice in January during the PWHPA’s first trip to Tampa Bay.
The PWHPA All-Stars were always going to be in tough during their opening game. The group arrived to Tampa Bay on Monday, and had just one practice before getting into game action. It was readily apparent early in the game that the PWHPA, like any team would, needed some time to get their legs underneath them. Rooney did a good job of giving her team a puncher’s chance, but it wasn’t meant to be on Wednesday.
Although they only scored one goal, the PWHPA had some good looks in this game. Amanda Kessel had three great looks of her own, but was unable to convert any of them on the afternoon. Jacquie Greco had a solid opportunity through traffic that Wong was able to snag as well.
Although listed as the second line of the depth chart, the PWHPA’s line of Brianna Decker centering Haley Skarupa and Kessel was their most dangerous trio on the afternoon. Both Kali Flanagan and Megan Keller created from the blueline, while Savannah Harmon had some strong moments in her own zone.
What They Said
“I think all of the girls in the locker room were just excited to get a game in, especially me in my first game back. You’ve just got to get your legs in the first couple of shifts, then after that I think the wheels were going for everyone so, it’s fun to get back on the ice for sure.” – Jacquie Greco
“I thought Maddie played awesome, made some great saves, it allowed us to continue to keep the game close. I thought we were a little bit too perimeter. We did have some decent looks, but not enough so tomorrow we’ve gotta some more looks, gotta get some more shots on net.” – Bill Flanagan
The PWHPA All-Stars get right back at it tomorrow morning. They’ll take on the Islanders Hockey Club of the USPHL’s Premier League at 9:00 am. The game will take place a TGH Ice Plex in Brandon, Florida. The game will be streamed live on HockeyTV, with updates on ‘The Women’s Hockey Tribune’ Twitter account!