Three-goal outburst leads to first

Three-goal outburst leads to first

EDMONTON – A three-goal outburst in the second period broke open a tight game, the No.5 University of Alberta Pandas taking first place in the Canada West standings by a 4-0 win over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.

Alberta's leading goal-scorer, Jessica Kampjes, netted a goal and an assist while fourth-year forward Alison Campbell added a couple of helpers. Fourth-year Gillian Altheim, third-year Sasha Lutz, and sophomore Deanna Morin tallied singles, netminder Lindsey Post recording her seventh shutout of the season, making it the second-straight season that she hit that mark.

Senior goaltender Crystal Patterson made 15 saves in the loss, Lethbridge now dropping to 15 losses in their 2014-15 campaign.

The Pandas improve to 13-6 and, combined with two regulation losses by Calgary to Mount Royal in the past two days, leapfrog their provincial rivals to take hold of first. The Manitoba Bisons remain on Alberta's heels, however, only one point back after Friday night's action.

In a simmering first period, the Pandas got on the board with their second shot on goal at the 16:38 mark, a blocked point shot by Ashley Morin squirting right to Altheim at the bottom of the faceoff circle, the former Red Deer Queen shelfing her second goal of the season for the 1-0 lead.

Only 56 seconds into the middle frame, Kampjes doubled the lead by taking advantage of a scramble in front of the Lethbridge net to put home a loose puck for her team-leading 11th of the season.

The Pronghorns tried to respond with a two-on-one midway through the period, but Post held her ground, swallowing the Cora Place wristshot to keep the visitors without a goal.

Edmonton native Kirsten Reeves then took a late double-minor for spearing with 2:10 left to go in the second stanza for Lethbridge and the Pandas pounced.

First, Lutz tipped a Kayla Lavallee point shot only 20 seconds into the first power-play opportunity before Kampjes fed Deanna Morin out in front on the second, the Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. native roofing the puck in a hurry with 32.3 seconds left on the score clock.

Taking a 4-0 lead into the final frame, the best defence in the conference went into shutdown mode in the last 20 minutes, preventing the Pronghorns from ending Post's shutout bid, the Chelsea, Que. native earning her 15th in career conference play in Evergreen and Gold silks.

The Pandas finished the night 2-9 on the power-play while the 'Horns went 0-4.

The two teams will meet again in the second game of the weekend, puck drop going at 6 p.m. MT on Saturday.