Written by: Kellen Taniguchi
Winnipeg, MB – The #7 University of Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team defeated the #1 UBC Thunderbirds by a score of 2-0, at the Wayne Fleming Arena, on Friday, January 13 night.
With the win, Manitoba improves to 10-4-3-2, and UBC falls to 14-3-2-0 in conference play.
Bisons goaltender Rachel Dyck stopped all 25 shots that came her way, shutting the door for her fifth shutout of the season. The home side grabbed a lead in the first period, on a goal from Alanna Sharman. They kept the lead throughout the game due to their stellar goaltending, and penalty killing units, and Venla Hovi added an insurance goal at 18:59, to give the Bisons the 2-0 win.
"On the puck, solid, big, physical, and just keyed in and locked in right now" Bisons head coach Jon Rempel said of his goaltender Rachel Dyck. "We kind of bent but didn't break, and that was probably the key of the game" Said Rempel of the team's penalty killing.
The opening period featured a lot of chances from both sides, but both goalies made key stops early on, each making eight saves in the frame. Bisons defensemen Alexandra Anderson took a two-minute minor for body checking at 13:49, but the UBC power-play was short lived, as Mathea Fischer took a penalty 50 seconds later, forcing some 4-on-4 play. The Bisons took advantage of the ice room, as Lauryn Keen fed forward Alanna Sharman on a breakaway, and she made no mistake, beating goalie Tory Micklash high glove side for the lone goal in the period. The home side would take a late too-many players penalty, but would kill it off, and take the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The visitors came out strong to open the second frame, forcing Dyck to make a couple of huge saves early on. The period became one riddled with penalties, with the Bisons serving three, and the Thunderbirds serving just one. The home side's penalty kill came up big in the frame, keeping the teams lead at 1-0 heading into the second intermission. Being short-handed so much, the Herd was unable to record a single shot in the period, and Dyck stopped all 10 shots that came her way, including a few big stops in the final minute.
The Manitoba power-play got to see the ice two times in the opening 10-minutes of the final period, including a 5-on-3 opportunity. The Herd put on some pressure, but the Thunderbirds penalty killers were able to kill off all of the penalties, and keep the deficit at just one goal. The Bisons would add an insurance goal on a late power-play, as Hovi tipped one pass the goaltender at 18:59, with Anderson, and Sharman getting in on the assists. Manitoba would hold on to win 2-0, over the #1 ranked team in the country.
The two teams will be back at it again tomorrow, January 14, as the puck will drop at 1 p.m. CT at the Wayne Fleming Arena.