Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON – Gabrielle Seper scored the game winner with two minutes left in regulation, vaulting the Mount Royal Cougars to a 1-0 win over the U Sports No. 10 Alberta Pandas, Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
The win was the first ever for the MRU women's hockey program over the Alberta Pandas. The Cougars were 0-21 all-time against the Pandas entering Saturday's tilt, including 0-15 in Canada West conference action. Seper's third period tally was also the first goal scored by a Cougar at Clare Drake Arena since January 5th, 2013, a span of almost 14 consecutive overall games.
With the loss, Alberta drops to 3-2-3, with their 10 points good for fifth overall in Canada West. MRU earned their second win of the season, improving to 2-4-1.
Zoe DeBeauville stopped all 26 shots she faced to earn her first shutout of the season. Dayna Owen, meanwhile, stopped 13 of 14 shots in the loss.
Neither team generated much offence through the opening period, with Alberta holding the 6-2 shot advantage, while combining to go 0-7 on the player advantage.
The second frame was much of the same, as the Pandas were unable to garner any high quality chances despite the massive possession advantage. Autumn MacDougall had a good look for Alberta on the PP in the second, but her initial shot was turned aside, before the rebound was cleared out of the MRU crease by the defence.
The offence picked up substantially in the final frame, as the two Alberta rivals fired a combined 20 shots on net. DeBeauville was active throughout the third, turning aside all Panda offensive flurries, including a pair of nice saves of Hannah Olenyk and Deanna Morin.
Seper would finally crack the goose egg in the dying minutes of regulation. After entering the zone alone, her wrist shot from 20 feet out careened off a Panda defender in front, and past a fooled Owen for the games lone goal.
The Pandas will look to rebound from the series split with MRU, as they host the conference's other Cougars in Regina next weekend at Clare Drake Arena. MRU, meanwhile, will stay on the road with a series scheduled against the Saskatchewan Huskies.