VANCOUVER – The Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team extended its season by at least one more day with a 2-1 double overtime victory over the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday afternoon at Father Bauer Arena in Vancouver.
Defenceman Alexandra Anderson played the role of hero, scoring at 17:35 of the second extra period. She grabbed a turnover, walked in to the top of the left faceoff circle with the puck and wired a wrist shot past UBC goaltender Samantha Langford for the dramatic finish.
With the win, Manitoba ties the best-of-three Canada West semifinal series 1-1. A third-and-deciding game will take place on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. PT.
The teams were tied 1-1 after two periods and neither could find the game winner in the third.
After a fairly even opening 10 minutes of action, the Thunderbirds started to generate some offensive opportunities.Stephanie Schaupmeyer had a chance on a 3-on-2, but just had her stick lifted at the last minute. Logan Boyd found herself point blank in the slot after a great set up from Sarah Casorso but was unable to convert and Rebecca Unrau's tip just went wide on a shot from Kelly Murray. Manitoba goaltender Rachel Dyck stopped all 11 shots she faced. The Bisons best chance came courtesy of their top line, however Langford was able to handle the tip in front by Alanna Sharman. Langford faced just five shots in first period.
The Bisons opened up the scoring 2:42 into the second period. After Tatiana Rafter took a double minor for butt ending just four seconds into the period, the Thunderbirds were able to kill off the first power play, but not the second. Alana Serhan grabbed a loose puck in the slot and made no mistake to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
However, UBC would respond on its own power play less than three minutes later. Kelly Murray's one-timer beat Dyck top shelf glove side to tie the game at 1-1. Both teams had more chances to take the lead on the power play, but neither were able to capitalize.
Dyck made 26 saves for Manitoba while Langford turned aside 25 of 27 in the UBC net.
The hosts converted once in nine power-play opportunities while the Bisons were 1-for-7.
Sunday afternoon's Game 3 will decide which squad will face the Alberta Pandas in the Canada West championship series in Edmonton next weekend.
IMAGE CREDIT: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds