Evan Daum, Canada West Communications
NEW WESTMINSTER – As Sunday night turned into Monday morning, the Manitoba Bisons and Saskatchewan Huskies not only entered a new day, but more importantly the Canada West record book, combining for the longest game in conference history.
Game 3 of the team’s Canada West women’s hockey quarter-final at Rutherford Rink in Saskatoon turned into a classic, as it took 139:02 for the Bisons and Huskies to eventually decide a winner.
Venla Hovi’s goal 9:02 into the fifth overtime period, which came just as the clock struck 12:01 a.m. CST, lifted Manitoba to the historic win and a trip to the conference semifinals against the Alberta Pandas.
Just two years after helping set the Canada West record for the longest game in conference history with a 2-1 loss to Regina in Game 2 of the conference final – which took 122:30 to find a winner – Saskatchewan once again came up on the wrong side of history.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s game will go down as the second longest in CIS hockey history – men’s or women’s – coming in behind only Queen’s and Guelph’s historic 2011 meeting. The pair played a total of 167:14 in Game 1 of the OUA women’s hockey final, as Queen’s skated away with a 2-1 victory.
Hovi, who won a bronze medal with Finland at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, was the hero in a game that saw the two teams combine for a total of 109 shots (Saskatchewan 67, Manitoba 42).
While there was no shortage of chances for both squads over the marathon game, Saskatchewan’s Cassidy Hendricks and Manitoba’s Amanda Schubert stood tall in goal for both teams.
After Manitoba jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to Lauryn Keen’s goal just 11 seconds into the game, it wasn’t until 10:38 of the third period until Saskatchewan finally equalized.
Lauren Zary’s goal in the final frame of regulation evened the score at 1-1, but proved the Huskies' lone goal on the night, as Hovi finally ended the thriller 88:24 later.