Rich Hilton, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge, AB – With both teams looking to forget 2016, the Calgary Dinos drew first blood in a weekend home-and-home series, clawing out a 2-1 win over the host Lethbridge Pronghorns.
The loss drops the Pronghorns record to 2-12-1-2 and extends their losing streak to nine games. Tonight's win was the Dinos first regulation win of the season and snapped an 11 game losing streak. Their record improves to 1-12-1-3 on the season and move within two points of the Pronghorns.
The Pronghorns started the game strong with two power play opportunities early, but Dinos' goaltender Sarah Murray made a couple key saves to keep the Pronghorns off the scoreboard.
Best chance from the 'Horns came at the 11th minute mark as Brett Campbell and Katelyn Breitkreuz went in on a two on one, but Murray made a big left pad save off of Campbell's shot.
On the Dinos only power play opportunity, Rachel Paul had a late chance in the slot, but missed high and wide keeping the first period scoreless.
Aided by three first period power plays, shots favored the Pronghorns 18-5.
The 'Horns had an early chance from Kooistra, but the second period shifted in the Dinos favor scoring two goals in the period.
Both Dino goals were scored by Delaney Frey. Once on the power play at the ten-minute mark, beating Alicia Anderson low glove side and the second coming only minutes later off an unfortunate bounce from the backboards for the Pronghorns, that ended up on her stick and into the empty-net.
The Dinos out-shot the Pronghorns in the second period 14-4.
The third period started with both teams trading off equal opportunities to score but neither team able to capitalize early.
The Pronghorns finally got on the board at the fourteen-minute mark, with Brett Campbell cashing in on a two-on-one play getting her own rebound and burying it blocker side.
Pronghorns continued to attack the Dinos net after cutting the Dino lead to only one, with chances coming from Kooistra on the power play and on a three-on-one play, but both attempts missed the net.
Pronghorns called their time out just under two minutes left in the game, looking for the equalizer.
After the timeout, Mackenzie Gal and Tricia Van Vaerenbergh handed another Pronghorn two-on-one with about one minute left, but as she did all night, Murray came up big again with a left pad save.
Tricia Van Vaerenburgh had one late chance in the final minute, but couldn't convert on the opportunity.
The Pronghorns finish the game out-shooting the Dinos 31-28 and went 0 for 6 on the power play, while the Dinos went 1 for 4 on the man advantage.
Alicia Anderson finished the game with 26 saves in the loss and Murray proved to be the difference, stopping 30 of 31 in the win.
The back half of the home-and-home series goes tomorrow night in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena.