Lethbridge – The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns faced-off against the top-seeded University of Alberta Pandas, Friday night, and were desperately seeking to put an end to their six-game losing streak but with three unanswered goals the Pandas held on for a 3-0 win in the first half of a two-game weekend series.
Alicia Anderson got the start for Lethbridge and faced a total of 27 shots on the night, while Lindsay Post was in net for Alberta and managed to stop all 23 shots she faced to secure the road shut-out.
Ashley Morin scored two goals in the opening period for Alberta and Janelle Froehler added an individual marker in the third.
It didn't take long for the Pandas to crack the scoresheet. Morin net her first of the night in the opening minutes of the first. In position beside the net, the third-year forward managed to put a shot past the down and out Lethbridge keeper and give her team an early go-ahead goal.
Alberta's Deanna Morin was called for trip and Lethbridge's Kirsten Reeves was called for hooking soon thereafter but neither team would convert during an extended four-on-four.
Lindsay Cunningham put a great shot on target for the Pandas midway through the opening frame but Anderson stayed with her and turned it aside.
Late in the first, the Pandas had another chance with the extra attacker as Reeves went back to the box, this time for slashing, and this time the visiting team capitalized on their opportunity. Morin added her second of the night at 15:24, from Natasha Steblin and Amy Helfrich, which widened the Pandas lead to two.
Lethbridge's Katelyn Breitkreuz came close to cutting the lead in half in the final minutes of play but her effort from in front of the net was steered wide by the Alberta net-minder.
The second period saw a lot of back-and-forth play but neither team would manage to sustain any offensive momentum. The 'Horns were hunting an elusive first goal but Post stayed strong between the pipes and denied great scoring chances by Jenae Culp and Sarah Spence. Abby Benning and Lindsay Cunningham each tested Anderson late in the frame but the Lethbridge keeper stood tall to make the stop.
Plagued by penalties in the third period, the 'Horns would struggle to materialize many scoring chances. Alberta extended their lead at 11:42. Lindsay Cunningham took a nice feed from Alex Poznikoff and carried the puck into the zone with speed and hit Froehler with a great cross-crease pass that she quickly buried glove-side.
With this win the Pandas retain their top spot in the division and improve to 9-5-0-1, while the 'Horns sit at 5-7-2-1 on the season. Game two of the weekend series goes tomorrow afternoon at 1pm and will be streamed live at www.canadawest.ca.