Kellen Taniguchi, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – Allison Sexton's two second period goals and Jordyn Zacharias's third period hat-trick led the no. 1 ranked Bison women's hockey team to an 8-0 rout of the Lethbridge Pronghorns at the Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday night.
Zacharias has struggled to find the back of the net this season and is happy to have finally broke through.
"I've kind of had a slow start in terms of goals this season, so it was kind of nice to get the monkey off my back a little bit," said Bisons forward Zacharias. "Once you get that confidence after the first one it just comes a little bit easier."
The home fans did not have to wait long for the opening goal. Sheridan Oswald tipped an Erica Rieder shot past Lethbridge goalie Alicia Anderson at the 4:45 mark of the first period.
Pronghorn goalkeeper Anderson kept her team in the game and stopped eight of nine shots in the opening frame. She made a stellar post-to-post save on a Bisons two-on-one rush led by Courtlyn Oswald and Rieder.
Lethbridge came out strong to start the second period, but Lauren Taraschuk stood tall in the Manitoba crease. Forward Alli Borrow had the visitors on a two-on-one break and decided to keep the puck, getting denied by Taraschuk's glove.
Taraschuk ended the game with her first shutout of the season.
The Bisons opened the floodgates in the second half of the second period, scoring three goals to take a 4-0 lead into the second intermission.
Manitoba's Erin Kucheravy scored the first goal at 10:29 of the period when Alexandra Anderson found skating room and wristed her shot towards the net. Kucheravy was able to deflect enough of the puck to get it by Anderson.
Sexton scored the first of her two goals on a beautiful rush from her own blue line. She curved her way through the Pronghorn defense to beat the goalie on her blocker side.
Sexton scored her second of the game with just 12 seconds remaining in the second. She was able to find the rebound off Karissa Kirkup's shot and slide it across the goal line.
Lethbridge forward Brett Campbell had an open net look, but hit the post and out. From there, Manitoba would add to their commanding lead.
Zacharias secured the win for the herd in the third period, scoring a hat-trick in the first half of the period. Zacharias capitalized on a short-handed breakaway chance at 2:44 of the frame.
She then finished a two-on-one rush and placed her shot top-left corner, with the pass coming from S. Oswald. The goal ended Anderson's night in net for the Pronghorns. She completed the hat-trick shortly after, to give Manitoba a commanding 7-0 lead.
S. Oswald scored her second of the night with just over six minutes remaining in the game.
The Bisons are expecting the Pronghorns to come back fighting tomorrow in the finale of the two-game weekend series.
"They'll have a lot more pushback tomorrow, I know that," said Bisons head coach Sean Fisher. "Alicia Anderson is an elite goaltender in this conference, and I'm sure she's not very happy with what happened there, and she'll be on a mission tomorrow."
With the win, the #1 ranked Bisons improve to 6-2-1-0 on the season, and the Pronghorns fall to 3-5-0-1. The two teams will battle it out once again on Saturday, Nov.10 at the Wayne Fleming Arena.