The Swift Current Comp. Ardens dodged a bullet Thursday with a 3-2 shootout win over the Moose Jaw AE Peacock Tornadoes to advance to the Moose Jaw High School Soccer League championship game next week.
The defending champion Ardens, who topped the league with a 7-0-1 record, needed a last minute goal from Sloane Gowan and a 20-player shootout to secure their berth in the final.
The Tornadoes, who finished fifth in the regular season, capitalized on a pair of chances to take a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute. Only Gowan’s goal in the 90th minute sent the two teams to a pair of scoreless five-minute overtime periods and kept the Ardens dreams of a record fifth league title alive.
Emilie Erlandson had scored in the fifth minute to open the scoring for the Ardens after she finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play with Cassidy Andres and Kaylee Kyle.
Ardens grade 12 captain Danitra Letwiniuk, the 20th shooter, ended the drama with the Ardens seventh goal on their second opportunity to win the shootout. The Ardens had earlier staved off elimination with five consecutive goals from Kyle, Erlandson, Sloane Gowan, Sage Gowan, and Becky Neustaeter.
The win set up a rematch of last year’s championship final with the Moose Jaw Vanier Spirits where the Ardens also came out on top in a shootout. The final will take place in Moose Jaw on Tuesday at Sunningdale Field.