Erica Rieder was the hero of the day, as her second goal of the day lifted the Manitoba Bisons over the Mount Royal Cougars on the back end of a women's hockey weekend series. With the series sweep, Manitoba's record improves to 18-5-1 while Mount Royal falls to 4-16-4.
Emma Pincott made 33 saves for the Cougars, while Amanda Shubert had a much quieter night, stopping 13 saves in the overtime win.
Manitoba got out to a great start, hemming Mount Royal into their zone for much of the first. The Bisons did a great job of cycling the puck and jumping on loose pucks and preventing the Cougars from clearing the puck.
Linemates Alanna Sharman and Alana Serhan — fresh off of multi-point performances the night before — were real spark plugs for the homeside early, challenging Pincott early with good chances. Pincott's teammates did her few favours, taking first period penalties that allowed an aggressive Bison offence to build on their early momentum.
"We were really happy with the first period. We came out much stronger than we did last night," said Bisons assistant coach Lisa Peters.
"[Pincott] played outstanding for them, so we told the players to stick with the game plan and keep it going.
Discipline continued to be an issue for the Cougars in the second period, as Jocelyn Froehlich served a four-minute double minor for checking to the head. Mount Royal's penalty killers were up to the task, killing Manitoba's fourth power play opportunity of the night after getting burnt on two of four chances Friday night.
Sherman and Serhan nearly picked up the first goal of the game late in the second, but Sherman's spinning backhand pass just missed Serhan's stick on a beautiful 2-on-1 opportunity.
Despite the Bisons outshooting their opponents 26 to 8 through the first two periods, the game remained tied until the ninth minute of the third period. Mount Royal forward Taralynn Suzuki broke into the Manitoba zone and beat Schubert, with Reanna Arnold and Megan Carver picking up assists.
The late goal set up a frantic final ten minutes as the Bisons scrambled to tie the game. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, defenseman Erica Rieder crashed the net and came up with a huge goal to tie the game late. Kayleigh Wiens and Tasmine Hemmingway picked up assists as the Bisons looked poised to force overtime.
In the final minute, Suzuki took a tripping penalty that afforded Manitoba their sixth power play of the night, which bled over into the four-on-four overtime period. It would only take 12 seconds for Rieder to break in down the left side with the puck and beat Pincott for the unassisted overtime game winner. It was Manitoba's only power play goal of the game on six opportunities and Rieder's second goal of the game.
"Being a defensemen and jumping up into the play and getting that first one, and then taking it into her own hands in overtime and taking the puck deep and ripping it on net — you can't ask for more," said Peters of Rieder's late-game heroics.
"What we said to the Ds between the third period and overtime was if you get an opportunity, jump into the play. She did exactly that and we're very happy."
Both teams are back in action next weekend, as Mount Royal travels to Regina and Manitoba heads out west for a weekend series against the UBC Thunderbirds on Feb. 7-8.