Lethbridge – The University of Alberta Pandas edged the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, 1-0, Friday night, in both team's Canada West opener.
Lindsay Post got the start for the Pandas and stopped all 28 shots she faced to earn an early season shut-out.
In net for the Pronghorns was Crystal Patterson, who turned aside an impressive 44 of the 45 shots she faced on the night.
Gillian Altheim netted the game's only goal.
The opening period of play saw lots of back and forth action and some great scoring chances for both teams.
Nearing the halfway mark, Pandas' third-year forward, Jessica Kampjes came flying into the Horns' end with speed and took a hard right through the crease, trying to tuck one in low, but her effort was stonewalled by Patterson.
Hannah Olenyk had a solid break-away opportunity with just less than five minutes remaining on the clock but the Lethbridge keeper followed the first-year forward and swiftly shut the door.
Lethbridge's Kirsten Reeves tried to crack Post a couple times, first with an off-balance backhanded effort and, then, with a quick shot from the top of the crease that went just wide, narrowly missing the top shelf.
With less than a minute remaining, Morgan Kelly put a quick wrister on target for the Pandas that was tipped by Alison Campbell, but Patterson managed to find it and quickly glove it down.
Through one, shots slightly favoured Alberta, 14-11.
Both teams were still hunting the game's first goal as the second period got underway.
Lethbridge's Sarah Spence and Jenae Culp tried to make the most of a great 2-on-1 chance, early in the period, but a well-timed poke check would diffuse the streaking forwards.
The Pandas surged offensively midway through the frame, unloading a barrage of shots on the Lethbridge keeper. Another great effort by Olenyk was stopped in its tracks, Kirsten Toth's bullet from the blue line was turned aside, and follow-up efforts by Kampjes, Cunningham, and Campbell were each denied by Patterson, who held on for an impressive twenty saves in the second.
Altheim netted the elusive lone marker of the game at 12:27 of the third period, low glove-side from the top of the crease, and the Pandas would hold on for a 1-0 regulation win.
The second half of the two-game weekend series goes tomorrow night at Nicholas Sheran Arena. Puck drop is at 7pm.