EDMONTON – In Game 1 of their Canada West semifinal series, the University of Manitoba Bisons shutout the No. 1 University of Alberta Pandas hockey team 3-0, Friday afternoon at Clare Drake Arena.
Alexandra Anderson, Lauryn Keen and Cassandra Taylor all scored in the third period for Manitoba, while Amanda Schubert stopped all 25 shots she faced for the shutout.
Despite one team coming off a 'bye', and the other coming off a marathon five overtime thriller, both teams opened Game 1 with considerable pace. While there weren't many shots registered, the first period showed flashes off great hockey, with Alberta holding the slight 4-2 shot advantage.
The first real scoring chances of the game came in the second period, but Schubert made numerous stops, including four on the Pandas two powerplay opportunities in the second period, to keep the game scoreless. Not to be outdone, Pandas goalie Lindsey Post made three outstanding saves of her own, including a tremendous save off the Alana Serhan one-timer from the Panda slot.
Despite 12 more shots in the second frame compared to the first, the game remained scoreless after two.
Lindsey Post continued to hold the Pandas in the game in the third, making three great saves on the Bisons door-step chance. However, the Bison newfound third period offence finally broke through seven minutes into the third. Erin Kucheravy found Anderson alone at the point, and she fired an absolute rocket just under the bar, and over Post's shoulder to open the scoring.
Despite being up by a goal in the final period, the Bisons continued to pressure for the insurance-marker. Quarter-final hero Venla Hovi's rush halfway thorugh the frame was stopped by Post, but Keen was on the doorstep to clean up the garbage, and slide the rebound into the yawning cage.
The Pandas pressed late for a goal of their own, but Schubert continued to be sound in her own crease, snuffing out any Panda chance. Taylor would cement the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
With the win, the Bisons take a 1-0 advantage over Alberta in the best-of-three semifinal series. Game 2 of the series will get underway at 1:00 p.m., tomorrow at Clare Drake Arena.
Connor Hood - Bears and Pandas Athletics