By Dani Wenger, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG, MB - There wasn't a dull moment at Wayne Fleming Arena Thursday night, as the No. 9-ranked University of Manitoba Bisons earned a 5-1 win in their home opener over the Regina Cougars.
The Bisons came into the contest riding a four-game conference win streak to start the season, while the Cougars were 2-1-1-0 before the Thursday result. With the win, Manitoba stayed perfect with a 5-0-0-0 mark, while Regina dropped to 2-2-1-0.
The first period saw both sides battle hard to earn the early advantage.
Manitoba got on the board first when Jordyn Zacharias scored with 8:58 left in the first. Venla Hovi and Alexandra Anderson drew the assists for the home side. Less than a minute later, the visitors responded with a goal of their own, as forward Lilla Carpenter-Boesch found the back of the net on a setup from forward Kylee Kupper. The goal marked the first shot this season to get past Bisons goalie Rachel Dyck, who came into the night with a perfect 2-0-0-0 record after wins over Lethbridge and Mount Royal to open the 2016-17 campaign.
Manitoba, however, would reclaim the lead before the first period was out, as Charity Price scored the eventual game-winner with just 2:11 left in the frame.
Backstopped by a strong period from Dyck, Manitoba stretched their lead in the middle frame thanks to goals from rookie Sheridan Oswald and Alana Serhan, who scored at the 8:48 and 16:18 marks respectively.
Just 19 seconds into the third period the hosts padded their lead yet again, as Lauryn Keen added her second point of the night, scoring Manitoba's fifth goal of the night. That marker stood up as the final tally in a game Manitoba outshot Regina 34-17.
Dyck finished the night with 16 saves to secure her third win of the season, while Cougars goalie Jane Kish stopped 25 shots, before being pulled after Manitoba's fifth goal of the game. Morgan Baker replaced Kish and made four saves in just under 20 minutes of action.
Hovi was named the game's first star after recording a trio of assists on the night. Serhan and Keen took home second and third star honours, as the Bisons swept the three star selections.
Manitoba plays again Friday night when they face Regina at Wayne Fleming Arena (7 p.m. CT).