WINNIPEG, MB – It may have taken a little longer than planned, but the University of Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team downed the University of Regina Cougars 2-1 in overtime at Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday night. Manitoba moves to 13-7 with the victory while Regina falls to 10-9.
The first period started out well for the home team as Regina, Saskatchewan native Erica Rieder scored her first CIS goal just 2:32 into the game to put the Bisons up 1-0. Her slapshot found its way through the traffic in front of University of Regina goaltender Toni Ross to give the Bisons the early advantage.
Chances by Manitoba forwards Lauryn Keen and Alana Sharman kept the crowd buzzing as Manitoba peppered Ross. Manitoba's forecheck stifled the Cougars throughout the period as Bisons netminder Rachel Dyck was only forced to turn aside four shots.
Just 1:09 into the second period, Regina's Kylee Kupper found herself on a breakaway, but she rung her wrist shot off the post to keep it a 1-0 game. Regina's attack had them far more dangerous in this period, but Rachel Dyck continued to stand tall in denying the Cougars. With 2:39 to play, Regina's Emma Waldenberger found herself wide open in front of Dyck, made a quick move going forehand to backhand as Dyck went down, but backhanded the puck high and wide on Regina's best chance of the game. A late Manitoba power-play would come up empty, but the Bisons held the 1-0 after two periods of play.
Regina would finally strike with 1:44 gone in the third period as the puck came back to Carleen Meszaros at the point, and her wrist shot would find the back of the net behind the screened Rachel Dyck to make it a 1-1 game. Regina continued with all sorts of pressure in the third period, hemming the Bisons in their own zone for nearly two minutes straight at one point, but Manitoba weathered the storm. The two teams would battle down to the horn, but nothing would be solved after 60 minutes.
The four-on-four overtime would see both teams with scoring chances early. However, a holding call on Regina's Triston Riemer would send Manitoba to the power-play midway through the extra frame. With time running down on the man-advantage, a spectacular individual effort by Alana Serhan saw her shot just squeeze under Ross' pads as Manitoba skated to the 2-1 overtime victory!
Bisons head coach Jon Rempel liked his team's effort in the tight-checking affair. “It's kind of a playoff game,” he said. “They're a tough team to play against – they check well, they're disciplined, they make it tough on getting to the scoring areas. I thought we persevered and did a good job when that goal went in on us midway through the third period.”
When asked about his thoughts on the overtime goal, coach Rempel broke into a smile. “Alana had a great game,” he replied. “She had a good weekend last weekend, and she could have had three or four today, so it was really good to see that one go in for her.”
These two teams will battle again Saturday afternoon at 3pm at the Wayne Fleming Arena.