Matt Johnson, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan Huskies women's hockey team picked up their sixth victory of the season as they shutout their provincial rival Regina Cougars with a 2-0 victory, on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Merlis Belsher Place.
Leah Bohlken and Chloe Smith each recorded a goal and an assist in the victory for the Huskies. Smith's opening period marker was her first goal of the season and stood as the eventual game-winner.
Third-year goaltender Jessica Vance was stellar between the pipes for Saskatchewan as she turned aside all 35 shots she faced to pick up the shutout victory.
Meanwhile, for Regina, third-year goaltender Morgan Baker was strong despite the loss for the away side as she stopped 25 of the 27 shots fired her way.
The Huskies were able to get back in the win column with the victory, after dropping the first half of the home and home the previous night in the Queen City. Saskatchewan now sits with
4-2-2-0 record through eight games, while Regina falls to 4-3-0-1 with the loss.
The Huskies hopped out to an early 1-0 lead, as the team's power play went to work and took advantage of a five-on-three. After a Bohlken point-shot hit a body in front, Smith was able to corral the loose puck and wire home her first goal of the 2018-19 campaign to give her team the all-important first goal of the game.
Sophie Lalor was looking to extend the Huskies lead minutes later, as the first-year forward dangled multiple Cougars, however, her shot from the slot was smothered by Baker.
Saskatchewan was in control through the majority of the opening frame, as the home side outshot Regina 13-3 and took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
The Cougars came out with a sense of urgency in the second period, and their improved energy directly resulted in scoring opportunities. Emily Middagh chipped the puck past a pinching Huskies defenseman and took off on a breakaway, but Vance shut the door on the second-year defenseman, who was looking for her first goal of the season.
Moments later, the Huskies responded with a scoring opportunity of their own, but Bourassa's backhand from the slot was stopped by Baker.
The Cougars bounced back with an improved second frame after a sluggish opening period, as they outshot the Huskies 16-6 in the second period.
Saskatchewan's powerplay was looking to strike for the second time on the night, but Emily Upgang was unable to jam home an insurance marker just minutes into the third period.
However, the Huskies kept dialing up the pressure with the extra-attacker as moments after Bourassa rang a backhand off the post, Leah Bohlken was able to find the back of the net to give the Huskies a much-needed insurance marker.
Adela Juskova had a great scoring opportunity for the Cougars with just under three minutes to play in the third period, but Vance kicked away the snapshot from the slot to keep the Huskies up 2-0.
With an empty net, the Cougars used the extra-attacker to their advantage. A beautiful cross-seam pass set up Emma Waldenberger, however, the Cougars captain was unable to convert on the opportunity as her one-timer sailed high.
Vance and the Huskies were able to withstand late pressure from Regina and escape with a shutout victory.
The Huskies will continue their five-game homestand as they host the UBC Thunderbirds for a two-game series. Meanwhile, Regina will head back to the Queen City for two clashes against the Alberta Pandas who entered this weekend ranked as the number six ranked team in the nation.