A.J. Mike Smith, Sports Information Intern
Lethbridge – The Lethbridge Pronghorns women's hockey team won a nail-biter Saturday night, taking down the MRU Cougars 2-1 in a shootout.
Jocelyn Sabourin scored for the 'Horns, and Channia Alexander got the Cougars goal. Sarah Spence scored the shootout winner.
The teams both got off to a sluggish start, as not much happened in the first period. The shots on goal were 11-9 in favour of the 'Horns, but the shots that did get through were perimeter chances, much credit to both teams' defensive play. The Cougars made the first trip to the penalty box, when Mairi Sorenson took a holding penalty 3:05 into the game. The 'Horns matched that penalty when Mattie Apperson took a holding call of her own at 11:15. The two clubs would skate out the rest of the period to an unchanged scoreboard, ending the first knotted at goose eggs.
The scoring started, and seemed to have stopped early in the second period. The Cougars notched the single tally of the frame, when Channia Alexander put home a rebound sitting at the top of the crease. The 'Horns started buzzing about halfway through the period, and had all the chances and pressure for a good 7-minute stretch. The Cougars took a penalty as a result, when Shawni Rodeback went to the box for crosschecking. The 'Horns seemed to have capitalized on the opportunity, but after a quick on-ice huddle, the ref waved it off, as it was kicked in. The score would stay the same until the buzzer sounded, and MRU took the 1-0 lead to the room. The 'Horns lead in shots, 21-19.
The 'Horns got some help to start the third, as the Cougars made yet another trip to the box, when Megan Carver got caught for hooking. The 'Horns couldn't get themselves a PP goal, but that wouldn't matter, as seconds after Jocelyn Sabourin walked in from the blue line to bury the equalizer. A few more penalties and close calls later, the buzzer sounded to end regulation with the game still undecided.
Overtime was dominated by the 'Horns, but they just could not find the back of the net. Cougar netminder Jess Ross stood tall for her team, taking them all the way to the shootout.
To kick things off in the shootout, Sarah Spence scored for the 'Horns. That would be the only goal of the shootout, as Alicia Anderson stonewalled her 'Horns to the win. A big W indeed, as the Cougars were on the prowl for that final playoff spot the 'Horns hold, just one point back.
Anderson finished the night with 24 saves, and Ross had the larger workload, stopping 32.
Next weekend, the 'Horns have another home and home, this time with the U of C Dinos. The Cougars have a home and home with the Alberta Pandas.