Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - In a dominating performance fans had come to expect from the Pandas on home ice, the University of Alberta held the Calgary Dinos to just eight shots on Friday night, coming away with a 2-1 win.
Hannah Olenyk and Ashley Morin provided all the offence Alberta needed in the first period, scoring each of Alberta's goals. Dayna Owen made seven saves for her third win of the season, as the Pandas improved to 3-1-0-1 this season. Their three wins and ten points also vaults them into a tie with Saskatchewan for the conference-lead.
Sage Desjardins scored the Dinos lone goal in the second period, while starting goalie Kelsey Roberts was sensational on Friday night, stopping 28 of the 30 shots thrown her way. The loss is the fourth of the season for Calgary, who fall to 1-3-0-1.
The host Pandas wasted little time taking over the game, scoring twice in the first six minutes, while outshooting Calgary 12-0 in the first period. Olenyk started the offence just five minutes in, scoring her second by beating Roberts on an incredible breakaway deke. Morin doubled the lead just 40 seconds later, beating Roberts for her second of the season as well. The Dinos couldn't muster anything even close to resembling an attack in the opening frame, spending a vast majority of it in their own end.
That all changed in the second, as the Dinos scored on their first shot of the game 4:08 into the period. After Chelsea Dearsley was sent off for boarding, the Dinos quicky capitalized on the player-advantage. Three quick passes by the visitors left Desjardins wide open on the side of the crease, who tapped in a silky pass from Laine Grace. Despite adding another seven shots in the second, the Dinos couldn't find the equalizer, trailing by one after 40.
Unfortunately for the visitors, the third period was a carbon copy of the first, as the Pandas completely shutdown the Dino attack. Calgary mustered just one third-period shot, which was no trouble for Owen, while allowing 11 Pandas shots. Alberta controlled the puck for long stretches in the third, not even allowing the Dinos to pull Roberts for the extra attacker. To her credit, Roberts held the Dinos in the game with a trio of fantastic saves in the third period. However, as has been the case all season, the Dinos couldn't generate sustained attack, as they head into tomorrow's game with just three goals scored in five games.
The battle of Alberta will continue tomorrow night, as the Dinos host the Pandas in the second half of their home-and-home series, with the game also available online on Canada West TV.