X-Treme best in west

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

Keely Brown had already held the Calgary Oval X-Treme scoreless for a whole game the night before.

The Edmonton Chimos netminder was on track to do it again, keeping Calgary off the board through 20 minutes of yesterday's Western Women's Hockey League championship finale.

However, the X-Treme -- make that Kelly Bechard -- was finally able to burst the dam and collect a 3-0 victory over the Chimos before 500 at Max Bell Arena to win the inaugural WWHL crown.

"We become a different team once we score one goal," said Bechard, who netted a goal and an assist. "It's kinda strange. It is a championship game and you do have nerves but to get that one goal is crucial."

Colleen Sostorics and Melanie Gagnon also scored for the X-Treme.

Calgary goalie Brittony Chartier collected the shutout -- with nine saves -- but the star between the pipes was definitely Brown, who stopped 36 shots and gave her team a chance.

X-Treme head coach Tomas Pacina was impressed by Brown but knew it was just a matter of time before his club turned on the red light.

"In a way, I was happy we got that game out of our system," Pacina said of Saturday's scoreless draw. "They are a very well-coached team, a very disciplined team, and I have a lot of respect for how hard they work.

"They played three games in a little bit more than 24 hours and keep us 0-0 in overtime and then 3-0. At the same time, we knew if we were relentless, we'd win. It was just a matter of time."

If there's a downside to the X-Treme season, it's the fact it won't conclude with a shot at a national title.

What was a national league last season was split into two this year but there will not be a playoff between the two champions.

"I think we'll have a Canadian championship next year," Pacina said.

Added Bechard: "It's unfortunate but getting this league going is a step in the right direction.

"Now the ball's rolling and it looks like we'll have a true national championship next season. It's just not feasible to have one league across Canada. It's too expensive."


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