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Aurora Games: Team Americas takes hockey on late goals

Aurora Games: Team Americas takes hockey on late goals

No two-pointers in scoring total
Aurora Games: Team Americas takes hockey on late goals
Team Americas Zoe Hickel, center and Team World’s Isa Rahunen mix it up in front of goalie Jenny Harss in the Aurora Games.
Photographer: Peter Barber

ALBANY — The two-point shot didn't factor into the scoring, but it's not like the hockey teams at Friday night's Aurora Games didn't try to make it happen.

Team Americas got traditional goals from Kali Flanagan and Taylor Marchin in the third period to lift the squad to a 3-1 win over Team World at Times Union Center.

"A couple of times our girls kicked it back," Team Americas forward Hannah Brandt said of the two-point shot. "It was cool to have that as extra motivation."

The two-point shot was introduced by Aurora Games organizers and used in an exhibition game Thursday and again in Friday's matchup that counted in the sports festival's team standings. If a player scored from beyond the line, or fired a shot from there that was deflected into the cage, the goal would have counted for two points.

Team World could have used one of those after Marchin's power-play goal at 17:08 made it 3-1.

"Toward the end we were telling them to shoot from outside, although it goes against their nature," Team World coach Sarah Murray said.

Flanagan scored the game-winning goal five minutes into the third.

Brooke Webster broke in alone on Team World goalkeeper Klara Peslarova, who came our of the crease and stuffed the Team Americas' skater with a sprawling effort just inside the two-point arc. When the puck kicked away, Flanagan was there to corral it in the slot and scored into an open net from about 40 feet away.

Marchin made it 3-1 on a power play goal, scoring from the top of the circle after handling a pass from Hayley Skarupa from behind the cage.

Team World got its goal 2:15 into the game by Annina Rajahuhta. Olympic gold medalists joined to tie it up for Team Americas at 10:45 of the first, with Bradt scoring in close on a feed from Skarupa. Team Americas' Blake Bolden hit the post on a close-range drive in the final seconds of the first.

"It was super fun to play in this game," Brandt said

Team World failed to take advantage of two power play opportunities in the second period. Team Americas goalkeeper Katie Burt made 11 of her 27 saves in that 20-minute stretch.

Team Americas edged Team World in the exhibition game at Cool Insuring Arena 1-0 on a third-period goal by Brandt.

Team World 1 0 0 — 1

Team Americas 1 0 2 — 3

First period — 1, TW, Annina Rajahuhta (Rebecca Stenberg, Alexandra Vafina), 2:15; 2, TA, Hannah Brandt (Hayley Skarupa), 10:45.

Second period — None.

Third period — 3, TA, Kali Flanagan (Brooke Webster, Trivigno), 5:00; 4. TA, Taylor Marchin (Skarupa, Dana Trivingo), time.

Goalies: Team World, Jenny Harss, 20 saves; Klara Peslarova, 13 saves. Team Americas, Katie Burt,27 saves.

FIRST VICTORY

Team World defeated Team Americas 85-77 Thursday night in basketball competition behind Abby Bishop's 21 points and Laia Palau's 15 assists, and gained its first event victory of the Aurora Games. Maggie Lucas scored 24 points for Team Americas, which fell behind early and never regained the lead.

Team Americas prevailed in tennis Tuesday and in gymnastics Wednesday.

ATTENDANCE

Announced attendance was 3,920 for the tennis, 4,210 for the gymnastics, 2,517 for the basketball, and 2,851 for the ice hockey.

WHAT'S NEXT

Figure skating at Times Union Center (1 p.m.) and the first round of exhibition table tennis (noon) at Albany Capital Center will be the featured competitions on Saturday.

The Team Americas figure skating group will include 13-year-old Alysa Liu, the 2019 U.S. national champion, and Olympians Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Wagner. Five-time French national champion Mae-Berenice Meite will be among the Team World skaters.

Lily Zhang and Yue "Jennifer" Wu will represent Team Americas in the table tennis event, which concludes Sunday (11:30 a.m.). Beach Volleyball is also Sunday (11 a.m.)

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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