It's game day, folks! The first scrimmages of the 2019 Women's National Festival took place Wednesday. Players had the opportunity to work on their technique during the morning skills session. Instead of the usual systems and drills at practice, Wednesday morning's on-ice session was more focused on skating technique. The goaltenders had their own ice time on the 1980 Rink where they perfected their goaltending fundamentals and broke off into small groups to work on goalie-specific drills.
Prior to the scrimmages, each team also had a session with the mental skills coach to learn the importance of developing a mental skills program to help with the mental aspect of hockey.
The first of three scrimmages kicked off at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday as the red team and the white team met on 1980 Rink. Team blue and team gold squared off next while the U18 inter-squad scrimmage started during that matchup on the adjacent rink.
Each scrimmage featured three full periods of play, followed by a five-minute overtime period, regardless of the regulation result, and a three-round shootout.
Team red led team white, 1-0, for the majority of the game after Natalie Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.) scored just over halfway into the first period. Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.) extended the red team's lead to 2-0 with well over 10 minutes to go in the third. Less than five minutes later team white got on the board with a goal from Kali Flanagan (Hudson, N.H.), but regulation ended 2-1 in favor of the red team. Despite Annie Pankowski (Laguna Hills, Calif.) tying it up 2-2 in the five minute overtime period, team red came out on top after the shootout.
In the second scrimmage of the evening, Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.) scored 48 seconds in to give the blue team an early 1-0 lead. Team gold answered with three unanswered goals in regulation and added a fourth goal during the overtime period. The scrimmage ended with a back-and-forth shootout ending in favor of team gold.
The U18 inter-squad scrimmage was a neck-and-neck matchup between team navy and team white that ended deadlocked 1-1 after regulation. Kiara Zanon (Rochester, N.Y.) netted the game-winner for team navy in overtime with a behind-the-back assist from Lyndie Lobdell (Aurora, Ill.).