Lethbridge –Trailing by four in the second period, the University of Calgary Dinos scored four unanswered goals to force extra time. After two periods of overtime, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns emerged victorious after a nail-biting 5-4 shootout win.
Sarah Spence, Kirsten Reeves, Jenae Culp, and Lauren Friedrich each scored for Lethbridge. Iya Gavrilova and Chelsea Court each scored individual markers for Calgary, while Sasha Vafina netted two on the night.
Hayley Dowling got the start for Calgary and made 12 saves before being lifted for Carissa Fisher after the Pronghorns third goal. Fisher turned aside 24 of 25 shots she faced, while Alicia Anderson started in net for the Horns and saw 35 shots on the night.
Lethbridge looked strong in the opening minutes of play, putting lots of pressure on Dowling early. It didn't take long for Spence to get her team on the scoreboard. The fourth-year forward net her first of the season, from Keely Chalk and Mattie Apperson, at 1:32.
A neutral zone turnover allowed Calgary's Sasha Vafina to get a great scoring chance for the Dinos but her effort was stopped by Anderson, who stayed with her to shut the door. Cheyann Newman followed up with a hard shot from the slot but she, too, would be denied by the Lethbridge keeper.
Lethbridge's Kirsten Reeves was called for hooking, at 15:14, but Calgary would muster only one shot on net with the extra attacker. After one period of play, shots slightly favoured the 'Horns, 11-8.
The 'Horns widened their lead early in the second. Reeves's hard shot from inside the circle soared through traffic and snuck into the net, under Dowling's glove. Moments later, Friedrich added a third Lethbridge goal. A turnover at center ice allowed her to break out into a two-on-one situation, alongside Aislinn Kooistra, but she held onto it and unloaded a rocket that found the back of the net, high glove side.
With Morgan Loroff in the box for hooking, the 'Horns looked to capitalize on the power play. Kooistra's shot was stopped confidently by the Calgary keeper but the barrage of shots kept coming. In front of the net, in scoring position, Culp widened her team's lead to four as the second period approached the ten minute mark.
Gavrilova was the first to respond for Calgary. Breaking out of the zone, alone on a breakaway, she quickly found herself in a one-on-one situation against Anderson. Patiently drawing the puck out wide and around the keeper, to score her third of the year, at 9:47, spoiling the chance of a Lethbridge shutout. Court followed up with a goal of her own at 12:12, from Heather Berzins and Sydney Mullin, which brought her team within two.
The Dinos continued to put pressure on the 'Horns in the third, holding them to only six shots in the frame. After a number of scoring chances earlier in the game, Vafina brought the Dinos within one, at 6:11, and then struck again, almost immediately, to close the gap completely. Taking a great feed from Gavrilova, Vafina went hard to the net and put the puck past Anderson with a slick stick maneuver in the crease, knotting the game at fours.
After two periods of heated overtime play, with great scoring chances at each end, this game was headed to a shoot-out. In the first round, Gavrilova, Vafina, and Lang shot for Calgary but none would crack Anderson. Spence, Kooistra, and Fredrich wouldn't fare any better against Dowling.
The game continued into extra shooters after the first three from both teams failed to score, setting up Brett Campbell's heroics as the Pronghorns fourth shooter.
The win lifts the 'Horns to their seventh win of the season and one point ahead of the Saskatchewan Huskies for top spot in the conference. The Dinos record falls to 1-5-0-2.
The 'Horns will host the Mount Royal Cougars next Friday night in the front half of a home-and-home series. Next weekend, the Dinos head out on the road, traveling to Winnipeg to face the Manitoba Bisons.