WHKY: Cougars pick up win over Huskies in shootout marathon

WHKY: Cougars pick up win over Huskies in shootout marathon

U of R Sports Information

REGINA – Jordan Kulbida buried the shootout winner as the University of Regina women's hockey team came away with a 2-1 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies at The Co-operators Centre on Saturday night.

The shootout saw 15 shooters fail to score before Kulbida converted the winner under the blocker of Jessica Vance. Morgan Baker stopped 17 shots in regulation and eight in the shootout for the Cougars while Vance made 32 saves for Saskatchewan before seven more in the shootout.

Both regulation goals came in the first period, as Shaelyn Vallotton scored for the Cougars while Sophie Lalor notched the Huskies' marker.

The Huskies opened the scoring with a long breakout pass that set up a two-on-one. Lalor took a pass from Kennedy Brown and waited until she saw an opening, beating Baker through the five-hole.

Regina evened the score before the end of the first period, as Vallotton picked up her second goal of the season. Jenna Merk stripped the puck from a Huskie defender behind Vance and threw it out in front. Vallotton stepped in from the blue line to scoop it up and fired a wrist shot under the glove of the Huskie netminder.

The Cougars had well over a minute of five-on-three advantage after the Vallotton goal, but a number of saves by Vance kept the score even as the Cougars outshot Saskatchewan 14-5 in the opening frame.

The Huskies had the majority of zone time in the third period, but it was the Cougars with the best chances. Merk was sent in on a breakaway but couldn't solve Vance, and the Martina Maskova found a streaking Elise Endicott right down the middle of the ice but again Vance came up big with a sliding pad save.

The Cougars found themselves on the penalty kill for a chunk of the first overtime period and over a minute of the second overtime, but managed to escape without much threat of a winner from the Huskies.

Both goalies were outstanding in the shootout, but needed a little bit of luck on their sides. Lalor was the Huskies' sixth shooter and had Baker beat, but the puck trickled through and came to rest right on the goal line where the referee waved it off. Ireland South nearly solved Vance as the Cougars' seventh shooter, as the puck slid under the goalie's pad but slipped just wide of the post.

The Cougars, who improve 7-8-2-3, will be on the road next weekend to take on the second-place Manitoba Bisons. Saskatchewan drops to 8-6-4-2 and will be back at home against Lethbridge next weekend.