By Danielle Doiron
Winnipeg, MB - The #9 University of Manitoba Bison women's hockey team claimed their sixth win of the season with a 7-1 victory over the University of Regina Cougars at Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday, October 21 night.
The Bisons are now 6-0-0-0 and remain the only undefeated team in the Canada West division, while the Cougars fell to 2-3-1-0.
Manitoba swept the two-game series after a 5-1 win on Thursday night. Bison head coach Jon Rempel said he thought his team performed better in the first game but played well all weekend.
"I didn't like us as much as I did yesterday," he said. "I thought we were probably not nearly as crisp and sharp, but I thought that we were opportunistic today. That was a really good thing.
"Sometimes, when you don't necessarily have your best game or your best energy, but you're still doing good things around the puck and with the puck and defending well, I thought we did that very well this weekend. I didn't think we gave them much, and when we did, (goaltender) Rachel (Dyck) was more than equal."
The Bisons' offence dominated the first period. Third-year forward Nicole Carswell kicked off the scoring with her second of the year at 2:13. Erin Kucheravy picked up her first assist of the year on the goal.
Both teams killed off minor penalties later in the period. Manitoba forward Lauryn Keen took a head checking minor at 4:23, and Regina's Nikki Watters-Matthes spent two in the box after body checking at 7:15.
But while neither side scored on the power play, Venla Hovi shot one past Regina's Jane Kish for her second goal of the season at 15:19, assisted by Jayden Skoleski and Alanna Sharman.
The Bisons entered the second up 2-0 and immediately killed off an interference penalty Alexandra Anderson took at 0:58. But while the Cougars' offence once again stayed silent on the power play, the Bison goal-scorers struck again. Erica Rieder netted her third of the season, assisted by Lauryn Keen, at 6:40 to make it 3-0 Manitoba.
And the home side didn't stop there. Cassandra Taylor scored at 11:34, assisted by Taryn Kokesh and Manitoba captain Caitlin Fyten at 11:34. A late-period Cougars tripping penalty gave Manitoba a 5-on-4 advantage at 18:48, and Alana Serhan didn't waste it. She scored with five seconds remaining in the period, assisted by Rieder, to give Manitoba a 5-0 lead.
Regina took and killed a body-checking penalty early in the third, but the Bisons extended their lead to 6-0 minutes later. Rookie Sheridan Oswald scored her first of the year, assisted by Serhan at 4:37.
The Bisons held the Cougars scoreless through a Hovi interference minor at 5:35, but the Cougars weren't as lucky on their next penalty kill. Regina's Kylie Gavelin went to the box for tripping at 9:37, and Erin Kucheravy scored at 10:21, assisted by Fyten and Anderson.
But the Cougars retaliated on a Rieder hooking penalty just over a minute a minute later. Gavelin broke up Manitoba's shutout bid with a power-play goal at 11:44. Jaycee Magwood picked up the assist, but the Bisons took the game 7-1.
Manitoba has not given up more than a single goal in a regular season game this year. Bison goaltender Rachel Dyck was awarded first-star honours, after stopping 23 of 24 shots. Manitoba's Fyten (second) and Rieder (third) were also named game stars.
The Bisons will next play a road series against the UBC Thunderbirds, starting on Friday, Oct. 28 at 9 p.m. CT. The team will return home the following week to take on the University of Calgary Dinos on Nov. 4 and 5. Regina will play a home-and-home series with Saskatchewan on the Oct. 28-29 weekend.