Anderson shines as ‘Horns hand Cougars first loss

Anderson shines as ‘Horns hand Cougars first loss

University of Regina Sports Information

REGINA - Alicia Anderson was the story on Friday night, as the Lethbridge Pronghorns defeated the University of Regina women's hockey team 3-2 at The Co-operators Centre to earn their first win of the season.

The second-year goaltender out of Calgary made her first start of the season in net, and made a whopping 53 saves to hand the Cougars their first loss of the season.

Delaney Duchek, Chelsea Kasprick and Mackenzie Gal scored for Lethbridge, while rookies Sam Geekie and Merissa Zerr found the net for the Cougars.

Regina opened the scoring just two minutes and 19 seconds in, as Geekie scored her first goal as a Cougar on the powerplay. Kylee Kupper took a pass from Krista Metz and went in at Anderson from the right wing, but her shot hit the post. Geekie was right in front and tapped it into the empty cage for her first Canada West point.

Lethbridge answered with a powerplay goal later in the first period on an eerily similar play. Sarah Spence came down the right side and put a shot on net that was handled by the pad of Morgan Baker. The rebound sat free for Duchek who made no mistake and potted the goal to even the score. Jenae Culp also assisted on Duchek's first of the season.

The Pronghorns took the lead midway through the second, as Isabel Johnson's shot from the point hit a stick and took flight towards the net. The puck came down just outside of the crease and took a funny hop, bouncing under the glove of Baker and sitting right on the doorstep for Kasprick who put the 'Horns ahead.

Gal added to the Lethbridge lead early in the second, firing a point shot that knuckled towards the goal and fooled Baker, beating her to the blocker side. Olivia Alexander assisted on Lethbridge's insurance goal.

Zerr would draw the Cougars within a goal with 4:19 to play in the third, following a rocket of a shot from Jaycee Magwood. Magwood took a cross-ice feed from Kylie Gavelin and unleashed a shot from the top of the circle that hit both posts and bounced out. Zerr found the puck on her stick in the slot and was able to beat Anderson with a high shot to the blocker side.

Regina pulled Baker with 1:25 to play, electing for a six-on-four advantage after Alexander was whistled for one of 10 penalties on the night. The Cougars were unable to capitalize, as their best chance came with less than ten seconds left when the puck slipped through the crease but Nikki Watters-Matthes was unable to get a stick on it.

The Cougars outshot Lethbridge by a 55-18 margin, with Gavelin and Magwood registering 10 shots apiece.

"I think we did a lot of things well tonight," fifth-year forward Meghan Sherven said following the game. "Shooting low and making their goalie move is going to be a key tomorrow. She has good size and plays out of her crease well, so making her move and playing for rebounds will help us capitalize on those opportunities."

The Cougars drop to 2-1-0-0 on the season, but Sherven is confident that the team will re-focus for Saturday afternoon's rematch.

"It's a long season and we know that there will be tough times, we need to stay true to our values and our goals. If we keep everything in perspective and learn from our losses that will help us moving forward."

Baker made 15 saves in the first Canada West action of her career.

The Cougars and Pronghorns are back in action on Saturday, with puck drop at The Co-operators Centre scheduled for 3 p.m.