Rich Hilton, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge, AB – Facing a virtual must win game, the Lethbridge Pronghorn women's hockey team couldn't find the offensive spark they needed and dropped the first half of a home-and-home series with the Mount Royal Cougars by a score of 3-1.
Entering the weekend, the Cougars led the 'Horns by seven points for the final playoffs spot and with the win are now 10 points clear of the Pronghorns with only nine games to play. The Cougars improve to 7-10-0-2, while the 'Horns fall to 3-13-1-2.
The 'Horns hit the scoreboard first with a power play goal that came from a Jodi Gentile point shot that would get deflected in front by Campbell.
The Cougars would get their first goal on their first power play as well after a turnover in front of the 'Horns net, Reanna Arnold would chip the puck over Alicia Anderson to tie the game.
Mount Royal would convert later in the period to take their first lead of the game, as Megan Carver scored off a rebound from Anderson after she made a big save off a deflection in front of the net.
Spence had a good chance late in the first period on the power play to get the 'Horns back to even, but DeBeauville got a piece of the puck on her glove to deflect it away from the net.
Shots in the first period favoured the Cougars 9-7.
Anderson had to come up with some big saves to start the second period to keep the 'Horns within one, as she took away three deflected shots.
After the 'Horns would kill off a penalty, Spence and Aislinn Kooistra would go in on a two-on-one with Spence getting a backhand shot away, but DeBeauville would come up with a glove save.
A big chance midway through the second came from the 'Horns as Breitkreuz went hard to the net, causing a scramble in front of the goalie. The puck would squeak by DeBeauville, but she reached back with her glove to stop it from going into the net.
Another strong play by Breitkreuz going hard to the net again and then Brett Campbell would try to get her second goal of the game off a wraparound play, but DeBeauville made a big save with her right skate to keep the Cougars up one.
'Horns would continue to put pressure on in the Cougars end as Spence had another great shot in the slot, but could not beat the Cougars netminder.
The Cougars would eventually get a late chance in the second on a two-on-one, Gabrielle Seper tried to go high glove, but Anderson got her left shoulder on the puck to keep the game at 2-1.
Pronghorns were strong on the penalty kill in the period as they would continuously block numerous shots, killing off four Cougar power plays to keep the game a one goal affair.
Cougars would hold the edge in shots on goal after the second period with a 24-18 shot advantage.
Best chance from the Pronghorns in the first half of the third came from Tricia Van Vaerenbergh after she beat out the Cougars defenseman for an icing call and would feed a great pass to Mikaela Reay, but DeBeauville was equal to the task once again.
A late chance from the 'Horns came from Mackenzie Gal as she fed a cross ice pass to Kirana Stocker in the Cougars zone, who tried to go high blocker and like the rest of the night DeBeauville would come up with the big save.
All night the Campbell, Kasperick, and Breitkreuz line would continue to put the pressure on in the Cougars zone; but could not convert on any of their chances in the late stages of the third period.
Pronghorns would call their timeout at 2:05 of the third period to gain an advantage, but the Cougars would continue to shut down all Pronghorn opportunities.
Cougars would solidify their win as Tianna Ko scored into the empty net to give the Cougars a 3-1 victory.
Cougars goalie Zoe DeBeauville would finish the game with 22 saves on 23 shots, while Pronghorn's goalie Alicia Anderson would finish the game with 28 saves.
The 'Horns and Cougars will wrap up their season series tomorrow night in Calgary, puck drops at 6:00pm at the Flames Community Arena.