Calgary, AB – The Mount Royal Cougars defeated the Calgary Dinos 2-1 in double overtime Thursday night at Flames Community Arenas. Carley Bertram (MRU) and Sasha Vafina (CGY) scored in regulation, while Sarah Weninger scored the overtime game winner for Mount Royal.
The Cougars came out buzzing to start the first game of this year's all-Calgary showdown. Mount Royal controlled the puck deep in the Calgary zone and the frustration began to set in for the Dinos.
Canada West's leading scorer Iya Gavrilova took a careless penalty early in the first and the Cougars' power play went to work. The Cougars sustained some good pressure, working the puck around the perimeter but were unable to solve Sarah Murray.
7:31 into the first, the Cougars' were cycling deep in the Dinos' zone. Megan Carver got the puck on goal and a scramble ensued. The puck found its way across the crease and Carley Bertram knocked it home for her team-leading, fourth goal of the season.
Just minutes later there was a scary moment when Chelsea Court hit Rachel Piitz from behind. Piitz got up and skated off but Court was given a game misconduct and the Cougars went back to the power play. Unable to convert, Mount Royal took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The Dinos turned up the pressure in the second period forcing second year goaltender Emma Pincott to make some timely saves to preserve the Cougars' lead. Calgary reeled off seven shots before Mount Royal was able to register their first of the period.
Jocelyn Froehlich, who put up four points in the Cougars' last game against Regina, had their best scoring chance of the period. From the point, she made a hard slap pass to Rachel Piitz at the side of the net. Piitz heeled the puck and Murray was able to make the save.
The Dinos owned the latter half of the contest, dominating the Cougars in every zone. They had several power plays but Emma Pincott was spectacular. With just over four minutes left, she stoned Russian Olympian Sasha Vafina, point blank in the slot.
With 1:49 left the Dinos finally solved Pincott. Gavrilova, the reigning Canada West Player of the Year, weaved a centering pass through legs and skates onto the stick of Vafina. Vafina had Pincott at her mercy burying the tying goal and sending the game to overtime.
The Cougars earned a power play in the first overtime but couldn't convert, sending the game to a second, 3-on-3 overtime.
In the second overtime, Megan Carver grabbed the puck at her own blue line and went down the ice 1-on-1 with the Dinos' defender. The two collided but the puck lay there in the slot for Sarah Weninger who was trailing the play. Weninger deked and went forehand for the game winner. She was immediately mobbed by her teammates, including the first star of the game, Emma Pincott.
With the win, the Cougars get back to .500, evening their record at 6-6-0-1. Calgary continues to struggle, falling to 2-9-0-2 on the season.
The Cougars and Dinos will play the second half of their home and home series tomorrow night at Father David Bauer Arenas. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm.