Pandas stymied for second straight game

Pandas stymied for second straight game

EDMONTON – The University of Alberta Pandas hockey team dropped their second straight game against the visiting University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, losing 3-1 at Clare Drake Arena on Saturday night. The win keeps the 'Horns record perfect, as they improve to 4-0-0-0 on the season, while the Pandas drop to 1-0-3-0 after the consecutive losses.
 
The Pronghorns led for the entire game, jumping out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Lauren Fredrich, Aisinn Kooistra, and Tricia Van Vaerenbergh. Rookie forward Alex Poznikoff scored her first career goal for the Pandas in the final seven minutes, but the goal was too little, too late for the defending champions. 

Lethbridge was once again led by the combination of strong goaltending, and strong special teams play. Rookie goalie Alicia Anderson stopped all but one of the 25 shots she faced to earn her fourth win of the season and first star honours, while the penalty kill went a perfect three for three on the night. 

Alberta controlled the pace of play for the better part of the first period, outshooting the visitors 9-7; however it was sloppy defensive zone play which led to the opening tally for Lethbridge. After an unsuccessful Alberta powerplay, Van Vaerenbergh was able to create a turnover deep in Alberta territory, and slid a weak wrist shot through Dayna Owen's pads.
 
The score remained the same until just two minutes into the final period. Kooistra's shot from the corner ricochet off Owens paddle, and snuck through her five-hole, giving the 'Horns a 2-0 lead. They would add to this lead just over eight minutes later, Van Vaerenbergh cleaned up the point shot from Fredrich on the powerplay, shattering the hopes of any Alberta comeback. 

Poznikoff would snap Anderson's shutout hopes with a wicked wrist shot from the slot, but her goal was all the offence the Pandas could muster. Anderson continued her strong play in Saturdays win, as she has now stopped 123 of 127 shots she has faced over the first four games. 

The Pandas will remain at home, as they look to get back in the win column next weekend in a series with the Regina Cougars. Game times are set for 7:00 p.m. Friday night, and again at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, both of which will be at Clare Drake Arena.