Calgary, AB- For the second night in a row the Mount Royal Cougars (4-5-0-1) were able to shutout the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns (5-3-2-0), in a Halloween night contest at the Flames Community Arenas. Emma Pincott picked up her first shutout of the year, making 20 saves, while Hali Reardon, Maggie Shykula-Ross, and Jordan Finnie lit the lamp for Mount Royal.
The Pronghorns, who currently sit in second place in the Canada West conference, gave the nod to goaltender Jessica Lohues for her first start of the season. While Lohues played strongly her team wasn't able to generate any offense in front of her, failing to avenge the 4-0 defeat from the previous night against the Cougars.
Mount Royal has been hot of late, winning four of their past six contests, as the young team seems to be finding their groove.
The Cougars opened the scoring with three minutes remaining in the first period. Shania Alexander skated into the zone on a two-on-two but a Pronghorn's defender fell down at just the wrong time turning it into an odd man opportunity. Lohues stopped Alexander's shot with the shoulder, but the puck was propelled up into the air and fell dangerously into the crease. From there Hali Reardon fought hard to get to the front of the net and slid the puck past Lohues putting the Cougars up by one.
The Cougars added to their lead just after the game's halfway point. Reardon continued her strong performance as she hammered a shot that was turned away by Lohues, however Maggie Shykula-Ross was able to find the rebound and slide it through the goaltender's five-hole. Her first of the year put the Cougars up by two.
Through two periods the Cougars looked to be the faster skating team. The Cougars' defensemen were also making good decisions with their pinches all night, keeping the puck out of their own zone and disallowing Pronghorn odd man opportunities.
Lohues was doing everything she could to keep the Pronghorns in the game. Early in the third she stopped Megan Carver on a breakaway and then turned aside two other Cougar chances as the Pronghorns found themselves pinned in their own end for most of the final frame.
With under a minute left Jordan Finnie put the game away with an empty net goal, her first of the year, which sealed the Pronghorns fate- 120 minutes without a goal scored against the Cougars' goalies.
Jessica Lohues was strong in her first start of the year in a losing effort; making 36 saves on 38 shots. Meanwhile Pincott's 20 save shutout moves her to 2-2-1 on the year.
With the league taking a weekend off, the teams will return to action on November 13th. Mount Royal will host the University of Regina while the University of Lethbridge will host the Manitoba Bisons.