A.J. Mike Smith, Sports Information Intern
Lethbridge – The Pronghorns women's hockey team made a statement Saturday afternoon, sinking the conference leading UBC Thunderbirds, 2-1 in regulation.
Kirsten Reeves scored both goals for the 'Horns, and Haneet Parhar scored the lone goal for the T-Birds.
After a re-do of the double overtime period played on Friday, after UBC successfully won a protest, neither team scored 3 on 3, the T-Birds took the game in a shootout, after Kathleen Cahoon buried the lone goal.
Saturday's game began immediately after the end of the shootout, with both teams starting slow. Not much noteworthy happened in the first half of the period. In the later stages of the opening stanza, a parade to the penalty box started, as the two teams found their aggressiveness. Mattie Apperson opened said parade up with a holding call, followed by her teammate Kirana Stocker, who got the gate for hooking. UBC joined in on the fun after a skirmish behind the 'Horns net saw Haneet Parhar head to the box for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. To wrap things up penalty wise in the first, the 'Horns Tricia Van Vaerenberg took a slashing minor. The 'Horns and T-Birds were even on shots, letting go 11 each.
The penalties kept coming in the second as the 'Horns' Jodi Gentile got called for tripping 1:03 into the period, and 41 seconds later, T-Birds' Mathea Fischer got caught for hooking.
Seconds after Fischer stepped back onto the ice, the 'Horns Kirsten Reeves broke the scoreless tie by walking in over the blue line and burying one post-and-in from the high-slot.
After the goal, the narrative transitioned right back to the penalty parade, as Katelyn Breitkreuz of the 'Horns made a trip to the box for hooking. After that, it was the T-Birds turn to get consecutive penalties. First, Haneet Parhar got dinged for body checking, then Celine Tardif joined Parhar in the box, getting called for holding. The 'Horns couldn't capitalize on the 54 second two-man advantage, as the T-Birds managed to kill off both penalties. Late in the second, the T-Birds Kirsten Toth was caught for a holding penalty. The 'Horns couldn't manufacture a goal on that opportunity either. The 'Horns peppered UBC with 17 shots, while the T-Birds only got 8 through in the period.
Not much changed in the third period, as the penalties remained a large part of the game. Stocker took her second penalty of the game, a tripping call, 2:25 into the third. The T-Birds went to the box again 8:24 into the period, as Kelly Murray took a body checking penalty. The 'Horns went back to the box at 11:56, on a Delaney Duchek body checking call. The T-Birds capitalized on this one, and tied the game up at one with a goal from Parhar.
Fast-forward to the later stages of the third period, and the T-Birds' Murray takes a head contact penalty with 2:03 left to play. The 'Horns took their time on the PP, but were eventually successful, as Kirsten Reeves notched her second of the game. After the goal, some extracurricular activity in front of the T-Birds' net resulted in three 'Horns players and two T-Birds players heading to a familiar place in this game, the penalty box. Reeves, Jocelyn Sabourin, and Chelsea Kasprick all went to the box for roughing on the 'Horns side, and Kirsten Toth and Kathleen Cahoon took roughing penalties of their own for the T-Birds.
Alicia Anderson finished the night with 23 saves, and her counterpart Danielle Dube stopped 35.
The win moves the 'Horns to 9-11-2-2 and temporarily one point ahead of the Manitoba Bisons in fifth place. The loss drops the T-Birds record to 11-7-4-2 record and hold a one point lead over the Regina Cougars for top spot in Canada West.
Next weekend, the 'Horns face off with the MRU Cougars in a home and home, while the TBirds return home and play host to the Regina Cougars.