By: Daniel Herrick, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON – Natasha Steblin's double overtime goal gave the University of Alberta Pandas a 2-1 win over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Saturday night at Rutherford Rink.
With the Pandas on the power-play, Steblin fired a shot through a crowd from the top of the circle that deflected off a Huskie defender and past goaltender Cassidy Hendricks at 1:27.
The game was four seconds away from ending in regulation until the top scoring defenceman in the country, Julia Flinton, took matters into her own hands. Flinton intercepted a Pandas breakout pass in the neutral zone and deked around a pair of Alberta defenders before sending a backhand shot over the glove of Post to tie it up at one before the end of regulation.
The Huskies had a pair of chances while on their own 4-on-3 advantage in the first overtime, but could not solve Pandas netminder Lindsey Post.
The two teams exchanged scoring chances in the last 20 minutes as the Huskies pushed for the equalizer and the Pandas looked for the all important insurance goal. With the Huskies net empty and less than a minute on the clock, the Pandas missed a chance to ice the victory when a shot at the empty net, from inside the blue line, went off the side of the frame.
Alberta clung to its one goal lead throughout the night after opening the scoring. The Pandas got on the board first for the second night in a row with a late first period goal. Lindsey Cunningham was the first player to find the puck after Natasha Steblin's point shot ricocheted off the cross bar. Cunningham slid the puck in from just outside of the crease for her third of the year with the Pandas on the power-play.
Post made 24 saves in the win for Alberta, while Hendricks made 18 saves for the Pandas.
The Huskies will travel to Regina to take on the Cougars next Friday night before finishing the season at home against Regina on Saturday. Alberta begins a home-and-series with the Mount Royal Cougars next Friday with the season finale coming on Saturday.