REGINA - Bailey Braden scored in regulation and rookie Chelsea Hallson was the hero in double overtime as the University of Regina women's hockey team scored a crucial 2-1 win over the Manitoba Bisons at The Co-operators Centre on Friday night.
Alanna Sharman scored the lone goal for the Bisons as the Cougars earned their 11th win of the season and draw within one point of Manitoba in the Canada West standings.
After the first overtime period passed with no score, the teams went to a three-on-three double overtime. The Bisons took a tripping penalty midway through but were able to kill it of before Hallson (pictured) scored the deciding marker with just 46 seconds left. Manitoba had a glorious chance but Alexandra Anderson's shot with Jane Kish down and out sailed wide, and Kylee Kupper fed it up the ice to Hallson. The rookie forward had Alexis Larson to her left but elected to shoot, beating Rachel Dyck and ending the game.
"There's no better time to score your first goal than double overtime," Hallson said after the game. "I knew I had someone on my left but I decided to shoot. I barely saw it go in but the next thing I knew I was being tackled by the girls."
The Cougars (9-6-2-0) outshot the Bisons 41-34 on the night, including eight shots on net from Braden. Kish made 33 saves on the night for her eighth win of the season, while Dyck stopped 39 shots for the Bisons.
The first goal of the game came the 14:38 mark of the first period, after a bodychecking minor to Braden expired. Braden raced out of the penalty box as poked the puck away from a Bison defender, going the other way on a two-on-one with Jaycee Magwood. Braden fed it to Magwood in front of the net but Dyck was able to slide across to make an outstanding save. The rebound sat free in the crease and Braden was the first one there, diving to knock in her fifth goal of the season and put the Cougars on top.
Manitoba bounced back with a strong second period but Kish was up to the task, keeping out all 14 Bison shots in the middle frame.
The Bisons drew even just over two minutes into the final period as Sharman netted her sixth of the season, banking a centring pass off the pad of Kish from behind the Regina net. Kish had played the puck behind the net but a miscommunication with her defenceman left the puck free for the Manitoba forecheck.
The best chance for the Cougars in the third period came as Lilla Carpenter-Boesch broke out on a three-on-one with Jolene Kirkpatrick and Magwood. There was a scramble in front after Dyck stopped Kirkpatrick's shot, and Magwood was able to jam it in but the goal was waved off as the official's whistle had sounded. Regina tested the Manitoba netminder a number of times in the remainder of the third period but Dyck was impressive in net, stopping 34 shots through regulation.
The Cougars will go for the sweep on Saturday night, with puck drop once again slated for 7 p.m. at The Co-operators Centre.