The Hayward Lady Hurricanes and the Black River Falls Tigers battled for 59 minutes on the ice of the Milt Lunda Memorial Arena in Black River Falls Saturday afternoon three days before Christmas.
And although Santa Claus was in attendance, no one was in a gift-giving mood, especially the goalies in this contest. Junior Emma Quimby stopped 13 shots for Hayward, but the real Grinch was on the other end of the ice.
Junior Lady Tiger goalkeeper Josie Mathison repelled all types of attacks, and even got a little lucky in the end, keeping 49 pucks out of the net as the two teams finished with a 0-0 tie.
The first period was scoreless and penalty-free, as Mathison stopped 11 shots and Quimby four in the opening period of play.
Each team had two power plays in the middle period, but the PK units and goalies kept zeroes on the scoreboard throughout.
In the middle of the period, Lady Canes junior Lauren Donnellan had a semi-breakaway and made a right-to-left-and back right deke on Mathison, but a combination of the goalie's left pad and a rolling puck kept the biscuit out of the net.
With just under three minutes left in the middle period, Hayward had 51 seconds of 5-on-3 play, but the BRF PK troika, plus someone named Mathison, negated a half-dozen opportunities to make it a one-goal contest.
Mathison had 15 saves in the period, while Quimby kept five pucks out of the net.
In the final regulation period, each team had a man-advantage chance early to mid-period, but neither scored.
And then in the last couple minutes, the home girls had a pair of great chances to score, but were thwarted in different ways.
First, sophomore Ellie Steinhoff had a breakaway chance, only to see Quimby make a clutch save.
Less than one minute later freshman Skylar Pierce skated in alone, only to have the speedy Donnellan strip the puck away on the left side of the net and go back the other way.
With 45 seconds left, a Lady Tigers penalty gave the guests a power play chance. After a Hayward timeout, play resumed, but once again, the game remained scoreless.
Saves in the period: Mathison (15), and Quimby (3).
After a three minute break, off the squads went to an extra period. The Lady Tigers killed off their penalty and then found themselves on the man-advantage shortly after.
Black River Falls had a power play chance with just over five minutes to go, by the Lady Canes proved to be stubborn and kept the game at zero.
Fast forward to less then 20 seconds left.
Lily Pergolski had a chance for the game-winner, but her shot from the low slot with an open net somehow flew over the crossbar with 15 seconds left.
Seconds later, a loose puck in the crease was alertly cleared by a BRF defender and the buzzer sounded on the rare 0-0 tie.
Mathison stopped one shot per minute in the fourth period, while Quimby kept one shot out of the net.
Both teams 'improved' to 5-5-2.