The Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) Saints are one step closer to locking down second place in the Winnipeg Women's High School Hockey League's 'B' Division. They shut out Springfield 3-0 at the BDO Centre Wednesday to improve to 17-4 this season.

PCI got out to a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the first period thanks to Maddie Shwaluk's unassisted goal, then seemed to lay off of their opponents until halfway through the third period.

"The second period we got a little bit better but we were battling ourselves more than we were battling with them. Who knows what goes through high school girls' heads when they're on the bench," laughs head coach Jo-Anne Clark-Gillespie. "By the end of the game, we were really good, especially when everyone is on the same page. Morgan Klassen shut the door and made the saves when she had to in the net, and that's what we need from our goalies when our players are struggling a bit."

Hailee Morisseau got the Saints their insurance goal with seven minutes to go in the third. Kiera Shwaluk scored an empty-net goal to secure the victory.

So You're Saying There's A Chance....

The Saints now have a shot at catching Sturgeon Heights for first place thanks to Beliveau's 5-2 win over the Huskies Wednesday. 

A win over Garden City Thursday would guarantee the Saints first place in the division, and home advantage through the entire playoffs. If River East does manage to win their final regular season match they'll finish tied with the Saints. The tie break comes down to regulation wins, which PCI wins by far. Clark-Gillespie outlines what they need to do in the final game of the season to capture the top spot and head into playoffs confident. 

"I'd like to see us go out and hammer Garden City now to get ready for playoffs," adds Clark-Gillespie. "Offensively I'd like to see us play our best. Our breakouts were terrible against Springfield even though we spent a full practice working on them. We just need to clean up things in our own zone and get going early. We had too much interruption in flow Wednesday so I want to see us at a high-speed tomorrow, entering the offensive zone very fast, and a lot of shots on net."

The Saints finish their season Thursday in Portage. They face off against Garden City and a win would help them secure first place.

D-Strong

A shining light in the Springfield game was the play of the Saints defenders.

"I don't think a lot of people realize that we have three grade 9s and a grade 10 ringette player playing with Kiera Shwaluk," says Clark-Gillespie. "They're getting more confident, and they work hard in practice, but you look at them and that's a lot to ask of players that young. They're handling it well, and Kiera is amazing on the back-end and she's teaching the other players a lot."

Shwaluk has been a constant force on the blue line this season, with 26 points in 21 games, and is 19th in league scoring as.

"She's so skilled and she knows the game, but she's so level headed and a teacher on the ice. She's talking on the bench constantly, working with players in practice, and you can see she's never really frustrated out there. She's a positive influence on the whole team."

****This article previously stated the Bailey Grantham got the Saints their insurance goal. 

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SCOREBOARD

Friday, April 28th

NHL
Western Conference
Semifinals
Nashville at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
(Predators lead best of 7 series 1-0)
Edmonton at Anaheim, 9:30 p.m.
(Oilers lead series 1-0)

Esso Cup
@ Morden
Semifinals
St. Albert vs Durham West, 3:30 p.m.
Pembina Valley vs Triolet, 7 p.m.

Major League Baseball
American League
Baltimore at New York, 6:05 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Toronto, 6:07 p.m.
Seattle at Cleveland, 6:10 p.m.
Chicago at Detroit, 6:10 p.m.
Los Angeles at Texas, 7:05 p.m.
Oakland at Houston, 7:10 p.m.
Minnesota at Kansas City, 7:15 p.m.

National League
New York at Washington, 6:05 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Miami, 6:10 p.m.
Atlanta at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at St.Louis, 7:15 p.m.
Colorado at Arizona, 8:40 p.m.
Philadelphia at Los Angeles, 9:10 p.m.
San Diego at San Francisco, 9:15 p.m.

Interleague
Chicago Cubs at Boston, 6:10 p.m.

NBA
Eastern Conference
Quarterfinals
Washington at Atlanta, 6:30 p.m.
(Wizards lead best of 7 series 3-2)
Boston at Chicago, 7 p.m.
(Celtics lead series 3-2)

Western Conference
Quarterfinals
L.A. Clippers at Utah, 9:30 p.m.
(Jazz lead series 3-2)

Thursday, April 27th

NHL
Eastern Conference
Semifinals
Ottawa 2 N.Y. Rangers 1
Pittsburgh 3 Washington 2
(1st games in best of 7 series)

Esso Cup
@ Morden
Pembina Valley 6 Mid-Isle 1
St. Albert 7 Durham West 3
Prince Albert 3 Triolet 2
(end of preliminary round)

Zone 4 High School Baseball
Carman vs PCI @ Portage (ppd)
MCI vs Garden Valley @ Winkler

Major League Baseball
Interleague
1st game: St. Louis 8 Toronto 4
2nd game:St. Louis 6 Toronto 4

American League
Seattle 2 Detroit 1
Cleveland 4 Houston 3
New York 3 Boston 0
Los Angeles 2 Oakland 1

National League
Philadelphia 3 Miami 2
Atlanta 7 New York 5
Washington 16 Colorado 5
Los Angeles 5 San Francisco 1
Arizona 6 San Diego 2

NBA
Eastern Conference
Quarterfinals
Toronto 92 Milwaukee 89
(Raptors win best of 7 series 4-2)

Western Conference
Quarterfinals
San Antonio 103 Memphis 96
(Spurs win series 4-2)

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