Written by: Kellen Taniguchi
Winnipeg, MB – The #5 University of Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team, cruised to a 3-0 victory over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday, February 3, at the Wayne Fleming Arena.
With the win, Manitoba improves to 15-5-3-2, while Saskatchewan drops to 9-9-4-3 in conference play.
The Bisons victory was fueled on goals by Jordyn Zacharias (2), Megan Neduzak's first goal as a Bison, and by Rachel Dyck's fifth solo shutout of the season.
"She has had a rock solid year" said Bisons head coach Jon Rempel of Rachel Dyck. "If you're going to beat her right now, you better make a pretty good shot for the most part. It's nice, and the girls know they don't have to play perfect hockey out back there, because she's got their backs."
The opening frame was very fast paced, with the Bisons getting on the board quickly on a Jordyn Zacharias goal. The goal came at 3:21, when Lauryn Keen fed Zacharias, who was alone in front of Huskies goalie, Cassidy Hendricks, and she made no mistake. Saskatchewan tried coming right back at Manitoba, as Brooklyn Haubrich used her speed to break free of defenders, and fired a shot right off the post. The home side got the first power-play of the game, with Huskies defender Kayla Kirwan taking a two-minute minor for tripping at 6:26. The visitors were able to kill off the penalty, and were rewarded one of their own, when Caitlin Fyten was called for interference at 15:16. It was actually Manitoba who got the better chances, as they had two short-handed breakaway chances, one of which was saved by Hendricks glove, and the other was sniped too high. Rachel Dyck made eight big saves in the frame, including a huge stop on a Saskatchewan deflection, keeping the game at 1-0 after the first period.
The home team controlled the second period, and again got off to a fast start on a goal by Megan Neduzak. Keen found Neduzak out front, who slapped the one-time shot past Hendricks at 0:49; Venla Hovi also drew an assist on the play. The visitors responded with a golden opportunity, but Dyck made the athletic post-to-post save, to keep the score at 2-0. Manitoba would get on the board for the third time at 10:35, this time, Hovi dropped the puck back to Zacharias at centre, who made a fantastic individual effort to push through the defenders, and got enough on the shot, to get the puck over the line for her second goal of the game. The Bisons controlled the second period, and it showed on the scoreboard, taking a 3-0 lead into the second intermission.
Both goaltenders played a clean final period, with Dyck completing the shutout. The home team got the majority of the chances in the frame, making Hendricks work for the Huskies. The Bisons got another power-play chance at 13:41, with Lauren Zary hooking Lauryn Keen on what could have been a breakaway opportunity. Manitoba was unable to convert on the power-play, going zero-for-three on the night. Sheridan Oswald got called for a penalty with less than two minutes to play, which put the visitors on the power-play for the remainder of the game. The power-play didn't last long, with the Huskies taking one of their own, and the herd was able to shut Saskatchewan down for the remainder of the game and roll to the 3-0 victory.
The same teams play again tomorrow (Sat., Feb. 4), with the Bisons looking to complete the weekend series sweep. Puck drop is at 4 p.m. CT, at the Wayne Fleming Arena.