The Estevan female Baxter midget A Cougars were in action in Melville over the weekend taking part in the first Melville female midget tournament.
On Saturday, the Cougars downed Assiniboia 10-0 in their first game, and then continued their dominance with a 12-3 victory over the Moosomin Ranger Girls in their second contest.
The two wins launched Estevan into the A-side final, were they met the Northeast Lakers (Canora) in a tightly contested battle that needed overtime to decide a winner.
The Lakers opened the scoring at the 9:51 mark of the first period, before Jennifer Biette of the Cougars wired a shot past the Lakers' goalie to tie the game in the final minute of the opening frame.
The seesaw battle continued in the third period when the Lakers were able to put their second goal past Cougars' netminder Taelor Bayda to take a 2-1 lead. Estevan was able to tie the game once again just 16 seconds later when Jolie Walliser found the back of the net, sending the game to overtime, knotted at two.
During the 4-on-4 overtime period, Estevan's Katie Cameron was able to steal the puck from a defender and then score on a breakaway to give her team the win in both the game and the tournament.
In addition to the tournament victory, the Cougars have also enjoyed a successful first half to their South Sask Female Hockey League season. With a record of 11-1-2, they sit atop the standings with 24 points, six more than second-place Fort Qu'Appelle.
Last season was the Cougars' first in the midget A league, and they have progressed leaps and bounds since then, becoming the strongest team in the league just a year later.
Head coach Perry Walliser says there are many reasons why his club is so much stronger this season, and it starts with experience.
"We have a fairly balanced team, with no real weaknesses," said Walliser. "Half the girls last year were bantam age, so we have more maturity this year and we're starting to learn how to play and come together."
The Cougars have only given up more than three goals twice all season, which speaks to their ability to play great defensive hockey.
"Goaltending is really strong, so we're lucky that way," said Walliser. "We also had some Carnduff and Alameda girls come our way this year, which really helped because they're girls that have played boys' hockey they're a little more intense and a little more physical."
The Cougars resume league play on Tuesday, January 4, and they plan on picking up where they left off before the Christmas break with seven straight wins.
"I'd like to win the league, and making provincials is one of our goals as well," said Walliser.