The U18 female Northern Capital’s Winter Classic game against the Fraser Valley Rush was moved inside on Sunday due to warm temperatures making the ice unplayable.
The teams were expected to face off at the Ernie Sam Memorial Arena but ended up inside the Fort Forum in Fort St. James, where the Capitals beat the Rush 5-4.
The teams seemed to be destined for overtime until the Fort St. John product, Keagan Goulet, scored the game-winner for the Capitals with 3:37 left on the clock — her second goal of the game.
Ella Boon of the Capitals scored the only goal of the first period, a power-play marker about four minutes before the buzzer.
Early in the second, Hailey Armstrong, from Dawson Creek, and Brooklyn Hutchings extended the Northern Capitals’ lead to 3-0 before Vienna Rubin finally got the Rush on the board. Goulet’s power-play goal set the stage for the dramatics that followed.
Goulet’s first goal came with 5:09 left in the second period while her team was on a power play. That marker put the Capitals up 4-1 but, before the middle frame was done, the Rush got power-play strikes from Gillian Lapierre and Leah Barnard to draw within one.
Aynsley D’Ottavio then pulled the Rush into a tie with 8:01 left to go in the third period.
In the victory, Armstrong had one goal and assisted on the other four.
Sierra Eagles was the winning goaltender, and Rebecca Noble took the loss.
Sunday’s win gave the Caps a weekend split with the Rush. The teams also played on Saturday at the Vanderhoof Arena, and the Rush won 4-1. The Rush went up 3-1 on an empty-netter by Rubin with 1:57 to play and then got another goal from Barnard before time expired.
Rubin opened the scoring early in the first period, but Rachel Loewen pulled the Capitals even with a power-play marker. Solana Cooper then netted her own power-play goal, and the Rush had a 2-1 lead. The score stayed that way until Rubin hit the empty net in the third.
Goaltender Clara Juca earned the win, and Karsyn Niven took the loss.
The Rush and Capitals sit first and second, respectively, in the division standings. With the weekend results, the Rush are now 19-2-1-0, and the Caps are 15-6-0-3. Both Rush losses have come at the hands of the Capitals.
The next scheduled games for the Caps are February 5th and 6th in Chemainus against the Vancouver Island Seals.