Ross earns shutout as Cougars cruise past Thunderbirds

Ross earns shutout as Cougars cruise past Thunderbirds

The University of Regina women's hockey team erupted for three first period goals en route to a 4-0 victory over the 8th-ranked UBC Thunderbirds at The Co-operators Centre on Friday night.


Natasha Kostenko, Carleen Meszaros, Emma Waldenberger and Bailey Braden scored for the Cougars. Toni Ross (pictured) stood on her head in net, stopping all 37 shots she faced for her second shutout of the season.


The Cougars opened the scoring 4:57 into the opening frame as Caitlin Dempsey put the puck in front for Waldenberger. Waldenberger's shot was stopped by Samantha Langford but the rebound bounced right to Kostenko who batted the puck over the right shoulder of Langford and into the open net.


The Cougars continued to keep up the pressure, and found themselves with a 5-on-3 man advantage just over two minutes later. Regina wasted no time adding to the lead, as Meszaros fired a wrist shot from the point that beat a screened Langford. Nikki Watters-Matthes and Brooklyn Moskowy collected assists on the powerplay marker.


The flood of goals continued 41 seconds later, on the same penalty that created the 5-on-3 for Regina. Kostenko put a puck on net following a face-off win and the rebound found its way to Waldenberger in front. Waldenberger slipped the puck past Langford, stretching the lead to 3-0 with 12:07 remaining in the first period.


The Cougars continued to pile it on in the second period, after UBC was whistled for its third penalty of the game. Meszaros knocked down a clearing attempt at the blue line and fed Braden, who fired a rocket that clipped the crossbar and found its way in. Braden's third of the season bumped the Regina lead to 4-0 and gave the Cougars their third powerplay goal of the game.


The Thunderbirds applied constant pressure for the remainder of the contest, but Ross stood tall in net with the aid of some stifling Regina defence.


Langford stopped 21 shots between the pipes for the Thunderbirds.


Regina moves to 5-6-8-2 with the win while the T-Birds drop to 11-1-5-4. The two teams will battle again on Saturday evening, with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. at The Co-operators Centre.