Pandas hand Cougars 4-0 loss

Pandas hand Cougars 4-0 loss
The University of Regina women's hockey team was downed 4-1 by the visiting Alberta Pandas in Canada West action on Friday night.

Tess Houston led the Pandas, netting a pair of goals and collecting an assist in the contest. Lindsey Cunningham and Natasha Steblin also notched markers in the win.

Lindsey Post was a wall in net for Alberta, easily turning away all 20 shots she faced. Jennifer Schmidt took the loss in net, stopping 17 of 20 shots before being spelled off by Toni Ross midway through the second frame.

The Pandas forecheck and neutral zone play was phenomenal, as they controlled the puck for the majority of the game. Regina failed to muster any strong chances, as the Pandas limited them to five shots on net in the first period, and three in the second.

The Cougars had some chances late in the third period, but when they did get past Alberta's stifling defence Post was there to shut the door.

Houston's first goal came in the first period on a mistake by the Cougars deep in their own zone. A Cougar defender fanned on the puck on a clearing attempt, and Houston scooped it up right in front before beating Schmidt to the top, glove-side corner.

Houston struck again early in the second, off a broken play. Gillian Altheim fed Houston who put a shot on net from the right circle. The rebound bounced in front and there was a mad scramble before the puck eventually found its way past Schmidt.

Alberta's third goal came late in the second frame, as Cunningham slashed in front and put a hard wrist shot on net. The shot slipped under Schmidt's blocker and trickled into the open cage.

The Pandas added more insurance with 1:35 left in the third period. Steblin unleashed a wrist shot from the point that went over the shoulder of a heavily screened Ross.

Alberta spaces themselves from the Cougars with the win, moving to the top of the Canada West standings at 10-1-6-0.
Regina falls to 4-6-6-1 but still holds the sixth and final playoff spot.

The two teams will square off again on Saturday, with puck drop scheduled for 3 p.m. at The Co-operators Centre.