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Estevan Female Bantam Chargers solid in loss to Russian club

The final score will read 3-0 but it won't tell the story of how well the Estevan bantam A Chargers played Thursday against Moscow Atlant.

The final score will read 3-0 but it won't tell the story of how well the Estevan bantam A Chargers played Thursday against Moscow Atlant.

Facing off against a team that was older and much bigger than they were, the Chargers turned in a strong effort before more than 1,000 fans at the Civic Auditorium.

Chargers head coach Chad Chapman said he was proud of how his girls played in the exhibition match.
"They really busted their butts and it was a good game, back and forth all the way," said Chapman.

The Russian club, who was playing the final contest in an eight game Saskatchewan tour, came out of the gate strong and dominated the first period and built a 2-0 lead. Chapman admitted nerves got the better of his club early on but felt they got better as the period went on.

"That was the first time for those kids playing in front of that many people. All the hype building up, it was a big deal. They were a little tight in the first, but after that it was 1-0 the rest of the way," said Chapman who added that he was happy with how his players handled the age and size difference.

"They have some 16-year-old girls on the team and we are a young team. We have 16 kids on the team and three of them are 14 and the rest are 13. They were a big aggressive team and you could tell they physically out-played us."

After getting over their initial nerves the Chargers gradually got better as the game wore on. Their best scoring opportunity came late in the middle frame when captain Madison Colbow just missed the mark with 16 seconds left in the period.

They kept up the pressure in the third and appeared to get their first of the game at the 11:37 mark of the period when Jessica Pele slipped the puck by the Russian goaltender. However it was ruled that the puck did not completely cross the line and the goal was disallowed.

Despite that setback, the Chargers continued to press but were turned aside by the strong Russian goaltending.

As it turned out, the goalies from both sides were the story of the game.

Tamara Irwin got the start for Estevan and kept the Chargers in the game as they worked out their nerves. Brianna Cote took over for the final 30 minutes and was equally solid, making a number of tough saves while allowing just one goal.

With the Moscow game behind them, the Chargers will now return to South Saskatchewan Female Hockey League action when they are in Regina to meet the Jaguars Sunday at 3:30 p.m. They are currently second in the SSFHL with a 12-3 record.

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