Alberta set up a defensive labyrinth that McGill minus Catherine Ward couldn't escape, ending the Martlets' 86-game win streak with a 2-0 win in the CIS women's hockey final on Sunday.
Fittingly, given that Alberta's win was all about team defence (goalie Dana Vinge: "I have to thank my team. They did an unreal job in front of me"), MVP honours went to defender Stephanie Ramsay rather than the unscored-upon goalie. It's further fitting since Ramsay, a Charlottetown native, is the Pandas' lone Maritimer.
Melody Howard, 6:09 into the first and Alana Cabana, with 1:11 left in the middle period, provided all the goals coach Howie Draper's Pandas needed. Alberta became the third goalie to go through the tournament without a goal against, joining McGill in 2008 and Concordia in 1999.
Nine Pandas are in their fourth year of eligibility. Captain Tarin Podloski is the lone fifth-year, but Vinge made reference to "a great way to end my career" in a post-game interview.
Meanwhile, you only need about two minutes to come up with a storyline for next season, since the Martlets lost the national title while Ward, goalie Charline Labonté and coach Peter Smith were off winning an Olympic gold medal for Canada. They'll be back, with ill intentions.
Laurier is hosting the 2011 nationals, so next year's championship should include two Canada West reps, two OUA teams and AUS and QSSF champions.