Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – On the strength off a 23 save performance from Rachel Dyck, the Manitoba Bisons spoiled the Lethbridge Pronghorns home opener with a 2-0 victory.
Alana Serhan and Alanna Sharman scored for the Bisons.
Jessica Lohues had a very strong night in the crease for the 'Horns, keeping her team in the game, making 46 saves.
While the opening period was scoreless, there was not a lack of shots or chances by either team. The Bisons finished the period with a slim 14-12 advantage in the shot department.
The 'Horns best chance of the period came from Aislinn Kooistra dead in the slot. She toe dragged a defender but Rachel Dyck was in perfect position to turn Kooistra away.
Erica Rieder had a pair of great chances in close to break the deadlock for the Bisons but Jessica Lohues made a terrific desperation save and defender Jodi Gentile slid to block the other.
The Bisons also had the only power play of the opening period and had plenty of chances in front, creating multiple goal mouth scrambles but Jessica Lohues stood tall in the crease to keep the game scoreless.
After the teams traded unsuccessful power play opportunities, the Bisons would break the deadlock on the second power play of the period. Alana Serhan picked up a rebound off the pad of Lohues and slid it into the open net for her first of the season.
Following the Bison goal, the 'Horns upped the pressure but could not capitalize. Kooistra and Tricia Van Vaerenberg both had good opportunities to tie the game but Dyck was equal to the task both times.
On the strength of three power play chance the Bisons held a distinct advantage on the shot clock in the second period, outshooting the 'Horns 19-5.
Following another Bison power play to start the third, which was cut short by a Manitoba Penalty, Van Vaerenbergh narrowly missed tying the score, beating Dyck but not the post.
With just more than eight remaining, the Bisons doubled the lead on their sixth power play of the night. Alanna Sharman walked off the half wall after the 'Horns turn the puck over and beat Lohues high to the short side.
For the final eight minutes, the Bisons stifled the 'Horns offence and were able to complete the season opening shutout win.
The Bisons outshot the 'Horns 48-23 on the night, while going 2 for 7 on the power play, while the 'Horns were 0 for 3.
Game two of the weekend set goes tomorrow afternoon at Nicholas Sheran Arena, puck drops at 1:00 PM. The game will also be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.