The Waterloo Wildfire clinched at least a tie for second place in the National Ringette League’s Eastern Conference Southern Ontario Division with a split of weekend games against the Ottawa Ice and Gatineau Fusion of the Capital Division.
Saturday evening in Waterloo, the Wildfire hit two goal posts in the first half of the opening period before the Ice took a 1-0 lead and then added two more in the final frame, despite being outshot 24-12 in the period, for a 3-0 victory. Ottawa goalie, Tory Gobel, stopped 36 Waterloo shots for the shutout.
Sunday morning the Wildfire gave up a first minute goal to the Gatineau Fusion, but came back to tie the game before the end of the frame and then outscored the Fusion 3-2 in the final period for a 4-3 victory. Katie Dawson led the Wildfire with a goal and an assist while Cass Findlater, Tara Gross and Amanda Somerville each added a marker, the last with just 30 seconds remaining.
As a result of the weekend action the second place (to Cambridge Turbos) Wildfire now have 32 points with seven games remaining while 3rd place Richmond Hill Lightning has 16 points and eight games remaining. A single point by the Wildfire or a single loss by the Lightning will guarantee Waterloo hosts one of three Eastern Conference best of three series on March 21 and 22. The winners of the three series along with the three division winners will then travel to Charlottetown PEI for the NRL Championship April 6 to 11 which will also include three teams from the Western Conference and a host maritime team.
The Wildfire, after a busy 10-game January, have a weekend off before travelling to Whitby on Feb 8 to face the Wild in a Sunday afterrnoon contest at 2:45 at McKinney Arena.
For all scores, schedules and stats, go to www.nationalringetteleague.ca.