WHKY: Specialty team power Cougars to sweep of Pronghorns
Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – Propelled by a perfect three-for-three on the power play, the Regina Cougars completed a weekend sweep, holding off the Lethbridge Pronghorns with a 4-3 victory in Canada West women's hockey action.
Specialty teams were the key for the Cougars in earning Saturday's win, in addition to scoring on all three of their power play opportunities, Cougar penalty killers killed off four of five Pronghorn power plays.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 3-1-0 early into the Canada West season, while the Pronghorns fall to 1-3-0.
Nikki Watters-Matthes scored twice for the Cougars, while they received single goals from Jordan Kulbida and Chelsea Hallson. Alli Borrow, Tricia Van Vaerenbergh and Brett Campbell scored in a losing cause.
In a rematch between the Pronghorns and Cougars, the Cougar came out firing registering three shots within the first minute. The best chance came off the stick of Jordan Kulbida as she accepted a pass entering the neutral zone for a half-break.
Near after, the Pronghorns Tricia Van Vaerenbergh broke in wide and crashed the net resulting in a scramble play that the Pronghorns couldn't cash in on.
Pronghorns opened the scoring on a powerplay just over five minutes into the game as Alli Borrow finished off a fantastic passing play with Mattie Apperson.
Continuing the pressure, Jordan Doram missed on a glorious feed from Borrow but unfortunately for the Pronghorns, Kish kicked out the right pad to make the save
The Cougars built off of Kish's solid play and tied the game before the first period end. Jordan Kulbida threw a puck from the wall on a late rush that beat Pronghorn netminder Alicia Anderson.
Following a Jodi Gentile penalty early in the second period, the Cougars power play went to work. Nikki Watters-Matthew beat a screened Alicia Anderson high glove, for her first of consecutive power play markers.
The Pronghorns looked to regain momentum as Katie Breitkreuz blocked a point shot and raced away on a half-breakaway, but Kish was there to make the save.
On another power play, the Cougars took a 3-1 lead as Nikki Watters-Matthew beat Alicia Anderson from the top of the circle, going high glove for her second of the game. Jordan Kulbida continued her big afternoon garnering her second assist and third point.
The Cougars came out ready to start the third period; however, Alicia Anderson was there to keep the Pronghorns within two.
Some great work by the line of Jordan Doram, Kyra Greig and Alli Borrow led to a Cougars penalty that saw quality chances by Katie Breitkreuz & Jodi Gentile; however, Kish was there again to shut the door.
Nearing the eight minute mark of the period, a third power play for the Cougars resulted in another goal. The goal came off the stick of Chelsea Hallson for her first of the Canada West season.
Refusing to go quietly, the Pronghorns Tricia Van Vaerenbergh scored her third goal of the Canada West on a scramble play to bring the Pronghorns back with two.
With 40-seconds left in the third period, Mikaela Ray scored on another scramble play with the Pronghorns pressing. Tricia Van Vaerenbergh & Jodi Gentile both picked up their second points of the afternoon on the goal.
Unfortunately, it was too little too late for the Pronghorns as Jane Kish picked up her second win of the weekend with the 32 save effort. Alicia Anderson turned aside 34 shots in the loss for the Pronghorns.
The Pronghorns will remain at home next weekend, hosting the Saskatchewan Huskies for a pair of games. Next up for the Cougars will be a home date with the Manitoba Bisons next weekend.
Photo by: MPP Photography