Written by Danielle Doiron
Penalties dictated the pace of the game Sunday October 4 afternoon, as the University of Manitoba Bisons lost 4-0 to the University of Alberta Pandas in women's hockey at Wayne Fleming Arena.
Manitoba took five of the game's six penalties, including three in the second period. Alberta went 1-for-5 on the power play.
Alberta's Natasha Steblin, Morgan Kelly and Abby Benning each picked up two points in the win.
The Bisons combined for 16 shots on goal but couldn't break through the strong Alberta defense.
"They were different," said Manitoba head coach Jon Rempel. "They played way harder. We knew they would, but we didn't respond to that today. We weren't ready off the start, so it's a valuable lesson learned.
"I thought we were slow of foot today, so that contributed to all the penalties we took."
With the loss, the Bisons fall to a 1-1 record, while the Pandas improve to 1-1.
Alberta quickly set the pace for the game and capitalized on a Bison tripping penalty taken by Nicole McGlenen early in the first. Just over a minute into the power play, Pandas forward Tess Houston shot one past Manitoba's Rachel Dyck, assisted by Natasha Steblin and Morgan Kelly to give Alberta a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, Alberta's Janelle Froehler tipped in another, assisted by Abby Benning and Deanna Morin, and the Pandas finished the first period up 2-0.
Penalties and strong goaltending dominated the second.
Alberta's Natasha Steblin took a hooking penalty midway through the period to send the Bisons to the power play, but the advantage didn't last long. Seconds in, Bison forward Karissa Kirkup took a roughing minor.
Manitoba killed the penalty, but then took two more before the end of the period. Alana Serhan and Caitlin Fyten each sat two out for body checking and cross checking, respectively, but solid goaltending from Dyck kept the score 2-0 heading to the third period.
The Bisons killed off the continued penalties but gave up an even-strength goal early in the third. Pandas forward Erinn Baddock scored, assisted by Deanna Morin and Morgan Kelly to make it a 3-0 game.
The Bisons continued to struggle through the rest of the period. Manitoba defender Erica Reider took a high-sticking minor with just over eight minutes remaining in the game. The home side killed off the penalty, but Alberta answered back in the final two minutes of play. Alison Campbell added one more for the Pandas, assisted by Lindsey Cunningham and Abby Benning, to seal Alberta's 4-0 win.
The Bisons will look for their second win of the season when they play the University of Regina Cougars on the road on Friday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. CT and Saturday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. CT. The Pandas will return to Alberta and take on the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns on the same weekend.