Written by: Devon Shewchuk
WINNIPEG - On Saturday January 23, the University of Manitoba women's hockey team hosted the second of the two game series against the Lethbridge Pronghorns at the Wayne Flemming Arena, falling 2-1 against the Pronghorns.
With the win, the Lethbridge Pronghorns improve their Canada West record to 8-11-1. The Bisons have their losing streak extended to three games and see their conference record sit a 10-10-2.
Saturday's game proved to be an evenly matched, highly competitive contest of hockey. Through a scoreless first period, both teams fought hard for the first goal of the afternoon. Though there were numerous in-front-of-the-net scrambles in the home team's end, Bison goaltender Rachel Dyck was able to make some impressive saves to keep the game scoreless through the first 20 minutes of play.
With a considerably slower start to the second period, the crowd at the Wayne Flemming Arena cheered as Bison forward Lauryn Keen fired her right hand shot at Lethbridge goaltender Alicia Anderson with 13 minutes left of play in the second. Despite the quick shot, Anderson was able to make a quick, reaching save to keep the game knotted up at zeros.
The intensity of play picked up from this point, with both teams receiving at least one penalty throughout the final ten minutes. At 15:07, Bison forward Charity Price picked up a two-minute penalty for slashing. Shortly after, with a sudden charge to the net, Manitoba's Velna Hovi passed the puck to an awaiting Alanna Sharman, who scored a shorthanded goal by roofing a shot off the crossbar on the visiting team's net. Off the faceoff, Lethbridge answered Manitoba's lead less than 20 seconds later, when Pronghorns forward Jenae Culp, assisted by Mattie Apperson and Jocelyn Sabourin, scored a power play goal and the game was tied at one.
"When we scored the shorthanded goal and [Lethbridge] got the power play goal to tie it right on the same power play… That was a turning point in momentum for sure," said Bison head coach, Jon Rempel.
Though both teams received multiple power play opportunities throughout the third period, it was during 5-on-5 play that Lethbridge defence Amber Yuha , assisted by teammate Brett Campbell, scored a goal on Dyck.
With the score 2-1 for Lethbridge, the Herd began to press in the last minutes of play, but were unable to capitalize on any scoring opportunities despite pulling the goalie at the end.
"When you dominate territorially like we did and don't get rewarded, it's pretty frustrating," says Rempel.
The Bisons will try to regain momentum Friday, January 29 at 7 p.m. CT when they host the Saskatchewan Huskies at the Wayne Flemming Arena. The Lethbridge Pronghorns head home, where they will host the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds on Friday, January 29 at 7 p.m. MT.
SCORING BY PERIOD:
MAN: Alanna Sharman (1G), Venla Hovi (1A)
LETH: Jenae Culp (1G), Amber Yuha (1G)