Mike Smith, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – The Pronghorns' women's hockey team dropped a close 1-0 decision to the University of Regina Cougars on Friday night. The Cougars improve to 8-7-3-1, while the 'Horns fall to 6-9-2-1.
The Cougars opened up the game with an aggressive approach, and it cost them as they went to the box five times in the first period. The Pronghorns were unable to capitalize on the opportunities, including two 5-on-3's.
After the Cougars were able to kill off the 5-on-3's, it was Emma Waldenberger who broke the scoreless tie 16:51 into the opening frame for the Cougars, getting in behind the 'Horns D and making a nifty move to the backhand and getting one passed Alicia Anderson. The 'Horns held the edge in shots, finishing the period with 16 to the Cougars' 11.
The second period told a similar story, as the Cougars made two trips to the sin bin. Once on a scary 5-minute major bodychecking penalty assessed to aggressive Cougars defenseman Nikki Watters-Matthes. Her target, 5th year centre Kirsten Reeves, stayed down on the ice, but would return to the game minutes later. Watters-Matthes was also ejected for the hit. The 'Horns had chances on the powerplay, but couldn't bury one on the 5-minute opportunity. They continued to pepper Cougars' goaltender Toni Ross, adding 11 more shots for a two period total of 27. The Cougars could only muster 5 for a two period total of 16.
Early in the third, it was the 'Horns who ran into some penalty trouble, taking two minors in the first five minutes of the frame. The Cougars applied some solid pressure, but the 'Horns were able to kill the penalties off. The 'Horns carried the play and generated more offense through the first 40, but the tables turned for the final period, as they were only able to get the puck on net three times. The Cougars put the pressure on, pressing for that insurance marker and firing a barrage of 14 shots.
The 'Horns were able to apply some pressure for the equalizer late in the game, but still could not solve Ross, who finished the night with 30 saves to earn the shutout.
Anderson finished the night with 28 saves but suffered the loss.
The 'Horns and Cougars will go toe to toe again tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm at Nicholas Sheran Arena. The game is available on www.canadawest.tv.