Written by: Alyssa Etsell, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – A top-notch goal by Bisons Venla Hovi on the power play in overtime clinches a No. 4 Manitoba with a 2-1 (1st OT) win against UBC Thunderbirds, Saturday afternoon (Dec. 2) in a battle for first place in the conference standings at Wayne Fleming Arena in Winnipeg.
The Herd capitalized off of a Thunderbirds penalty in the extra session, with assists going to Alanna Sharman and Erica Rieder.
"I felt like we definitely deserved to win today, we had so many opportunities I was like we need to pass this by at least getting the two points," said Bisons forward Hovi.
With the overtime win, Manitoba moves to a record of 10-4-2-0 and UBC to 9-4-1-2 and moves the Herd to three points ahead in the battle for first place in Canada West. The Bisons avenged a 3-0 loss to UBC the previous night.
The only other goals of the game came midway through the first period.
A Thunderbird penalty, the first of the game, left the Bisons with a great power play opportunity. Bisons Lauren Warkentin wristed a beautiful rebound into the top corner of Tory Micklash's net. The goal came off a shot from Rieder and Alana Serhan.
With UBC's first power play of the game, Hannah Clayton-Carroll answered with a frantic dribble into Rachel Dyck's net, despite strong attempts from Manitoba defensemen to keep it out. Celine Tardif and Emily Costales got credit for the assists.
For the first half of the first period, it showed that the teams were fighting for first place in Canada West. The play was back-and-forth, with the shots on net at the end of the first being 8-6 for the Bisons. There was ample opportunity for UBC and Manitoba both to seize control of the game early.
A scoreless second period was filled with many attempts to pull ahead by both teams.
Thunderbirds had two great 2-on-1 chances early in the second but Dyck expertly stonewalled the attempts.
Manitoba's Rieder fed Serhan a pass from the point and Serhan rang a slapshot off the post. Serhan attempted a slapshot again but the arena filled with the sound of another off-the-post ting.
Both teams battled hard for the win but the Bisons played with enough intensity to get the much-needed victory.
"That was one of our best games of the year I thought from start to finish," said Jon Rempel, Bisons head coach. "Just intense, it was two really good, strong, physical, fast teams going at it and I thought we deserved to win today."
Both teams will take a break for the holiday season. After the break, Manitoba travels to the University of Alberta to take on the Pandas at 7 p.m. MT and UBC will play Calgary Dinos at home at 7 p.m. PST.
1. Venla Hovi – Manitoba (game-winning goal)
2. Lauren Warkentin – Manitoba (1 goal)
3. Tory Micklash – UBC (25 saves)