Big second period vaults Cougars to sweep of Pronghorns

Big second period vaults Cougars to sweep of Pronghorns

Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics 

Lethbridge – Exploding for four second period goals, the Mount Royal Cougars completed the home-and-home weekend sweep of the Lethbridge Pronghorns with a 4-2.

With the win the Cougars improve to 4-6-0-2 and now hold a four point cushion on the Pronghorns for the final playoff spot. The loss drops the 'Horns record to 2-7-1-2. 

Coming off a 2-1 win last night in Calgary, the Cougars jumped out of the gate, getting the first four shots of the period but Alicia Anderson turned aside the opening barrage. The early saves settled the Pronghorns down and controlled the play for large chunks of the remainder of the period. 

Tricia Van Varenbergh and Aislinn Kooistra both had breakaways to open the scoring for the Pronghorns but in both cases, Emma Pincott made quality saves to keep the game scoreless.

However, the 'Horns would hit the scoreboard first. First-year Pronghorn Maddison Toppe forced a turnover down below the Cougars goal line, her pass from the half wall ricocheted off a Cougar player and right to Jodi Gentile. Her one-timer beat Pincott to the top blocker. 

Shots after the first favoured the 'Horns 14-7.

The second started the same as the first, with the Cougars putting the pressure on the 'Horns but this period, the Cougars would capitalize on their opportunities. With two goals in just over a minute turned the 1-0 deficit to a 2-1 lead. 

On a two-on-one, Anna Purschke slid a pass across to Tianna Ko, who pulled the puck across the net and buried one low glove to tie the score and on another odd man rush, Nicolette Seper  picked up a rebound off Anderson's pad and banged home her first of the season. 

The 'Horns picked up their game following the Cougars second goal but were unable to get another one past Pincott. Toppe had a great chance to knot the game back up on a breakaway but her backhand deke was denied by Pincott.

Before the period was out, the Cougars would pick up their third consecutive goal, Megan Carver walked around a 'Horns defender, pulling the puck across the net and tucking it into the far corner.

With just over a minute remaining in the period, Sarah Weninger added an unassisted goal on the wrap around.

The Cougars outshot the 'Horns 14-10 in the period, but total shots still were in the Pronghorn's favour 24-21.

Before the third was a minute old, the Pronghorns got themselves back into the game cutting the Cougar lead back to two. Off a Cougar turnover, Sarah Spence found Kooistra high in the slot, she beat one defender and beat Pincott with a backhand blocker side goal for her second of the season.

Despite controlling the play throughout the third, that would be as close as the 'Horns would get. While the 'Horns held the territorial advantage, they could only generate 10 shots on goal. Final shots on goal favoured the 'Horns 34-27. 

Anderson finished the night with 17 saves and Jessica Lohues, who replaced Anderson for the third, stopped all six shots she face. Emma Pincott backstopped the Cougar win with a 32 save performance. 

The 'Horns will head out on the road next weekend, traveling to Edmonton to face the Alberta Pandas. The Cougars will host the top ranked UBC Thunderbirds for a pair in Calgary.