Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – Powered by four specialty team goals in the second period, the Alberta Pandas completed the weekend sweep of the Lethbridge Pronghorns with a 4-3 victory.
The Pandas scored once shorthanded and three times with the power play to pick up an important win. Entering this afternoon the Pandas were still tied with the Manitoba Bisons for second place and the win today continues that tie, setting up an important pair of games next weekend in Edmonton. The Bisons, who beat the Saskatchewan Huskies will travel to Edmonton in the final weekend of conference play.
The loss drops the Pronghorns record to 3-19-1-3.
While the Pandas controlled the play and dominated the shot clock in the opening period, it would be the Pronghorns who scored the only goal of the first period. Playing in her final home game as a Pronghorn, senior Sarah Spence banked a shot off Pandas goaltender Dayna Owen from behind the goal line for her fifth of the season. Pandas outshot the Pronghorns 14-4.
Only 34-seconds into the second period, Panda's captain Sasha Lutz tied the game with a shorthanded marker, beating Alicia Anderson on the breakaway five-hole.
However the tie did not last long after Pronghorn forward Mackenzie Gal banged home a rebound less than three minutes later to regain the Pronghorns lead.
From there, the period was all Alberta Pandas, scoring three power play goals in the period, two of which game only eight seconds apart. On a five-on-three power play, Ashley Morin slid a rebound through the Anderson's legs. Regan Wright followed that up seconds later in a near carbon copy goal of Morin's.
On their fourth power play late of the second period, Wright picked up a rebound deep in the 'Horns end and lifted it over Anderson for her second of the day and a 4-2 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.
Content with a two goal lead, the Pandas battened down the hatches defensively and stymied the Pronghorns attack for the majority of the period, allowing only six third period shots. The Pandas only registered two shots of their own in the period.
On a power play and with the goalie pulled Delaney Duchek deflected home her third of the season with just under two minutes to play but that would be as close as the Pronghorns would get.
The Pronghorns will conclude their Canada West season next weekend on the road, travelling to Saskatoon to take on the Saskatchewan Huskies. The Pandas will host the Bisons in a battle for second place and a first round playoff bye.