Max Sturley, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – The number one team in Canada West continued their strong play over the University of Calgary Dinos, as the University of Manitoba Bisons picked up the 4-1 victory, Friday evening at the Father David Bauer Arena.
Manitoba came into tonight's contest having won 13 of the last 14 games between these two teams, including two wins earlier this season.
After both teams traded quality scoring chances in the first 13 minutes of the opening frame, it was Manitoba who broke the stalemate.
On a 2-on-1 rush, Bisons forward Karissa Kirkup blasted a slap shot that Dinos goaltender Kelsey Roberts stopped, but couldn't stop Lauren Keen on the weak side, who tapped home the rebound making it 1-0.
The Dinos only needed 1:45 to tie the game, and it came in spectacular fashion.
From her own blueline, defender Merissa Dawson fed Annaleise Meier, who spun around to feed line mate Priya Sidhu. Sidhu took the pass and in tight beat Bisons goaltender Lauren Taraschuk short side up high.
The Sidhu snipe was her first career USPORTS goal.
In the second period, the Dinos found themselves in some penalty trouble and the Bisons broke the game open.
Lauren Keen under four minutes into the second, deflected a point shot carefully past Roberts, restoring the one goal cushion.
87 seconds later, Keen completed her hat-trick on another Bisons power play. Following a Lauren Warkentin point shot, Keen collected the rebound and hooked the puck past an outstretched Roberts, doubling the lead in short order. Keen came into the contest with four goals on the season.
"We can't let that happen," said assistant coach Alli Goodman. "As soon as we get down a skater, they score and get another one, it's hard to come back.
The Dinos had their chances in the second to cut into the lead, but we're met by Taraschuk, who stymied all second period shots she faced, including a golden opportunity for Brooke Dennett.
Two minutes into the final period, the Dinos went back to the power play as Bisons defender Alexandra Anderson took an interference minor. Paige Michalenko and Dennett both had chances to make it a one goal game, but were once again denied by Taraschuk.
The 3-1 score line stayed until the final minute of the third as Bisons defender Erica Rieder potted an empty net goal, icing the win for Manitoba.
Roberts made 29 saves in the loss, while Taraschuk stopped 19 out 20 shots, good for her ninth win of the season.
These two teams meet again tomorrow afternoon for a 3 p.m. puck drop.
Photo by David Moll