Calgary, AB- The 2-3-0-1 Mount Royal Cougars were unable to defend home ice Saturday evening at the Flames Community Arena as the 2-4-0-0 University of Alberta Pandas won by a score of 2-1. Autumn MacDougall and Lindsey Cunningham picked up the Pandas goals while Carley Bertramscored the lone Mount Royal marker.
Both teams came into the contest looked to continue their winning ways. The Cougars were coming off a sweep against the Manitoba Bisons while the Pandas came into the contest with a win against Regina fresh in their memory from a weekend prior.
The Cougars opened the scoring midway through the first period. Megan Carver registered her first point of the season as she made a nifty spin-o-rama pass that found the stick of Carley Bertram at the hash marks. Bertram's shot deflected off the inside of the post and behind goaltender Lindsey Post, giving Bertram her third of the year and Mount Royal an early 1-0 edge.
The Cougars didn't have long to enjoy their lead. Just five minutes later a point shot from Panda forward Autumn MacDougall deflected off a few bodies and slowly slid past Cougar goaltender Jessica Ross, equalizing the score.
The Cougars took four undisciplined penalties in the first two frames, but Ross who came into the game sporting a 1.52 GAA (good for fourth in the Canada West division) was solid along with her defense in killing off all four Panda power play chances.
Despite the Pandas heavily outshooting the Cougars by a mark of 19-9 both teams went into the locker rooms tied through 40 minutes.
The Pandas finally managed to get another puck past Ross early in the third period. The Mount Royal goalie initially saved the first shot as Lindsey Cunningham broke in alone but the rebound went off the forward's body, beating Ross for Cunningham's first of the year.
The Pandas didn't make life easy on themselves attempting to close the game out. After their goal the team was forced to kill off five penalties in the last 15 minutes, the most dangerous one with just 40 seconds left giving the Cougars a 6 on 4 chance with their net empty.
While the Cougars had constant pressure in the offensive zone the Panda forwards did a good job forcing the Cougars puck carries to play keep away on the outside, wasting enough time for the horn to go, sealing the Panda win.
With the win the Pandas remain undefeated lifetime against Mount Royal, and on the season improve to 3-4-0-0. Meanwhile the Cougars fail to register a point for just the first time in four games, and fall to 2-4-0-1.
Cougars goaltender Jess Ross turned away 21 of the 23 shots she faced while Lindsey Post stopped 18 out of the 19 Cougar shots, picking up her second win of the season.
The teams will finish off their home and home tomorrow afternoon in Edmonton, with puck drop taking place at 6 PM.