Written by: John Gaudes
WINNIPEG, MB - Despite a late effort and a flurry of shots on goal, the Bison women's hockey team were unable to overcome the #3 Alberta Pandas on Saturday, November 29 at the Wayne Fleming Arena, losing 3-2 but earning a weekend split after Friday's 1-0 win.
The win sees Alberta improve to 9-1-6-0, while Manitoba falls to 8-2-5-1.
The Pandas got a big night from Lindsey Cunningham, who had two goals in the win, her eighth and ninth of the season. Hannah Olenyk had the other Alberta goal, her eighth of the year. Lindsey Post was solid in net as well, finishing with 22 saves.
For Manitoba, assistant captain Michelle Pawluk ended her goal drought with her first of the season. Megan Tully also added her third of the year. Amanda Schubert got the start in goal, and finished with 11 saves.
"I thought we played a lot better today than we did yesterday, actually," said Bisons head coach Jon Rempel. "It was too bad we couldn't have scored early when we had all that pressure in the first period, then they came down and scored on their first shot."
"When you're chasing the game on the second day, it can be tough against a team like that. They can lock you down pretty hard."
In the first, Alberta proved more aggressive in the neutral zone, which earned a few odd-man rushes in the frame. On one such rush, Cunningham streaked in from the right side and put a slapper over Schubert's head to make it 1-0.
The scoring opened up for the first time this weekend in the second period. Alberta was first at 7:55, as Olenyk won a scramble in front to put a shot past Schubert to make it 2-0. Four minutes later, Manitoba answered with a beautiful set goal - with traffic in front of Post, Tully was able to put a blue-line shot into the net to cut the lead to one. Alberta, though, had the last word of the frame, as Cunningham got her second of the night on another scramble in front, making it 3-1 after two.
In the third, the Bisons skated hard and dominated even strength play, but three ill-timed penalties - one with 18 minutes left, two in the last five minutes - really hurt their chances of a comeback. Pawluk's goal with two minutes left made things interesting, but a high-stick by Maggie Litchfield-Medd at 19:24 effectively ended the game.
The Bisons women's hockey team now go on holiday break and return to conference action on Friday, January 9 in Lethbridge at 8 p.m. CST. The team will play three non-conference games before that against Team Manitoba on January 2 at 3 p.m. CST, January 3 at 2 p.m. CST and January 4 at 5 p.m. CST. Alberta resumes Canada West play on Jan. 9-10 weekend at Regina.