CALGARY - The hot streak continued for the University of Alberta Pandas, as they extended their winning stretch to five games, defeating the University of Calgary Dinos, 7-1, Saturday night, Jan 21, at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.
The Pandas, after winning last night 4-0, carried their momentum right from puck drop as they opened the scoring just over a minute into the game. Pandas forward Alex Poznikoff picked up a stretch pass from defender Megan Eady, and had clean breakaway, in which she made no mistake, beating Dinos goaltender Sarah Murray on the backhand, making it 1-0.
At the halfway mark of the opening frame, the Dinos tied the game. Forward Kate Lumley, parked on top of the crease before scoring on a second effort, squeezing the puck past Pandas goalie Dayna Owen, notching her first goal of the season.
Just three minutes later, Pandas forward Deanna Morin restored her teams lead as she rifled a snap shot from the right circle, that hit the post, then Murray, before rolling into the net, making it 2-1. Before the end of the period, Poznikoff added her second of the night, as she fired home the centering pass from Jessie Olfert, which gave Alberta a two goal lead heading into the second.
"To be honest, we had a good start, we played much better than yesterday in the first period, then again I think we need to be more resilient as a team because when it was 1-1, we were going, it was a good game, then they scored one goal and that's when we got discouraged, we said 'okay it's over'," as head coach Danielle Goyette explained. "It's just 2-1, anything can happen in this league. The thing is in the first period, I think as a team, this is what we need to work on, is no matter what the score is going to be, we have to play the game we are supposed to play and see what's going to happen."
The second period only had one goal, as the Pandas extended their lead to three. On the power play, Lindsay Weech chipped a back door feed over Murray, getting her second goal on the year. The Dinos had a number of chances to chip into the lead, including a squandered 5-on-3 power play, midway through the game.
Just 18 seconds into the final period, the Pandas made it 5-1, as forward Autumn MacDougall picked up her tenth goal of the year. Alberta would add two more before the end of the game, including Poznikoff completing her hat-trick, as she guided the Pandas to a 7-1 win, capping off their fifth consecutive victory.
By the end of the game, the Dinos racked up 30 minutes in penalties, added to by Dinos forward Cheyann Newman, who took a two minute minor along with a game misconduct late in the final period.
"You know what, we lost because we didn't play well enough. But I do feel like some penalties made me say 'just let them play'. A couple of the plays, I didn't think they were penalties," as Goyette discussed the penalties being called in the third period. "When you get calls like that, that's when the players get frustrated. Not because of the score, it's more the players wondering what is going on, thinking why can't we just play hockey."
With their playoff hopes looking all but dashed following tonight, Goyette still wants her squad to work hard in the remaining games, and emphasized how important that is: "it doesn't matter what is going to happen; if we don't make the playoffs so be it, but can't lose the next 6 games and just do nothing. We're a young team, and we need to keep battling and continue to learn."
Next weekend, the Pandas will face-off against the Mount Royal University Cougars in a home-and-home series. The Dinos meanwhile will play two games at home against the University of Manitoba Bisons, January 27-28, at the Father David Bauer Arena.