Pandas stymie Bisons for Game 2 win

Pandas stymie Bisons for Game 2 win

EDMONTON – Lindsey Post's 25 saves led the University of Alberta Pandas hockey team to a 2-1 win in Game 2 of their Canada West semifinal series against the University of Manitoba Bisons, Saturday afternoon at Clare Drake Arena.

Hannah Olenyk and Ashley Morin each scored their first goals of the playoffs for Alberta, while Alanna Sharman recorded the lone goal for Manitoba.

The game got off to a tremendous start for Alberta, as they scored their first goal of the series just three minutes into the first period. Olenyk received an outlook pass from Cayle Dillion, and used her speed to blow by the Bison defender, and rip a shot over Amanda Schubert's blocker. The Bisons, however, quickly started to dictate the pace of the game, eventually outshooting the Pandas 8-3 in the first period, but still found themselves down by one.

Olenyk continued to be a spark-plug for the Panda offence in the second, finding herself on yet another breakaway opportunity, although this time Schubert was able to make the fantastic glove save. Other than the lone breakaway chance, the Bisons continued to control possession in the second, but were unable to find the back of the net. Sharman had the unquestioned best scoring chance for Manitoba in the first 40 minutes, but her breakaway in the final minutes slid just wide of the Alberta net.

The continual pressure finally led to a goal for Manitoba in the third period, as they were able to even the game at 1, while also holding a massive 18-9 shot advantage.  Sharman would capitalize on her second breakaway of the game, fooling Post into thinking deke, before snapping the shot over her glove.

Alberta, however, was quick to respond. It took Morin just over a minute to regain the Panda lead, shooting the puck from her knees in the Bison slot, and past an outstretched Schubert. Manitoba pushed late for the equalizing goal, but Post made eight third-period saves to maintain the Panda lead, and ensure the Game 2 victory.

The Alberta win evens the best-of-three series at 1-1, with the winner-take-all Game 3 scheduled for 1:00 p.m., Sunday afternoon at Clare Drake Arena.