Pandas Take Two From Saskatchewan
The #3 Alberta Pandas picked up a pair of close road wins this weekend over the #10 Saskatchewan Huskies in Canada West action.
The opening game of the set was a true goaltender battle, with both Alberta's Kanesa Shwetz and Saskatchewan's Mackenzie Rizos making save after save to keep the game close.
There was no scoring until the second period, when Alberta scored back-to-back goals by Karla Bourke and Brandi Buss, to give the Pandas the 2-0 lead. Danny Stone scored for the Huskies before the period was over, to halve the lead, but with the tremendous goaltending at both ends, that was all either team was able to score, and Alberta took it by the 2-1 final.
Shwetz ended up making 29 saves in the victory, while Rizos made 32 for the losing Huskies.
In the second game, it was a last-minute goal that propelled the Pandas to victory over Saskatchewan.
After outshooting the Huskies 13-2 and two first-period goals by Sarah Hillworth put the Pandas ahead 2-0 at the first intermission, it looked as though they might have an early grip on the game. However, Saskatchewan fought back and tied the game up in the second.
Cara Wooster scored first for the Huskies, and then just five minutes later, it was Sara White who tied the game up, sending the game into the third period tied at twos.
The third period was a defensive battle, and it looked as though the game was destined for overtime, until with just seven seconds remaining, Karla Bourke scored to give the Pandas a hard-fought 3-2 win.
Michala Jeffries started between the pipes for Alberta, making 23 saves in the win, while Rizos suffered her second loss of the weekend, despite making 23 saves herself.
The win moves Alberta to 8-3-1, good enough to keep first place in Canada West.
The #1 McGill Martlets remain unbeaten following the weekend, after picking up a shutout victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
It was Charline Labonte making 15 saves and picking up the shutout, as she and Laurier's Liz Knox continue to battle for the CIS record of most shutouts in a career. Offensively, Cathy Chartrand sealed the winn for the Martlets, as her third-period goal put the lead to three goals.
In exhibition action, McGill also downed the St. Mary's Huskies by a final of 6-0, in a game that Labonte picked up another shutout, and six different Martlets scored.
In OUA action, the #2 Laurier Golden Hawks had an easy weekend, first knocking off Queen's 3-1, thanks to a shorthanded game-winner by Katherine Shiriff. In their second game, Laurier opened the floodgates, and Laura Brooker scored twice as the Golden Hawks easily picked up a 6-2 victory over the UOIT Ridgebacks.
Also in the OUA, the #5 Guelph Gryphons had a tough weekend, dropping their only game to the #8 Brock Badgers by a final of 4-2.
Brock scored three unanswered goals between the second and third periods, which was enough to hold on to the win over Guelph. For the Badgers, captain Kelly Walker had two goals and an assist to lead the offense.
It was another solid game for Brock goalie Beth Clause, as she kicked out 28 shots in the contest, as the Badgers continue to climb, and now find themselves second in the OUA.
The #6 Manitoba Bisons had no problem in knocking off the UBC Thunderbirds in their two-game set over the weekend. Tara Lacquette stopped all 17 shots she faced, while four different Bisons scored to give Manitoba a 4-0 win in the first matchup of the weekend.
In the second, Nellie Minshull was the star of the show, scoring twice for Manitoba, while goals from Jordyn Hrehirchuk and Addie Miles provided insurance, as the Bisons downed the Thunderbirds 4-1, to complete the two-game sweep at home.
#7 Windsor Lancers had a rough weekend, losing both. The Lancers first fell to the Toronto Varsity Blues by a final of 3-1, despite outshooting Toronto 47-15 in the contest as Nicole Kesteris stood on her head for the Blues.
In their second game, Windsor faced the York Lions in what should have been an easy win. Despite two goals by Windsor's Candice Chevalier, it was the Lions who came out on top courtesy a late third-period goal by Katrina Tollis to propel York to a 3-2 win. It was another outstanding goalie performance, as Windsor outshot their opponents 48-19 this time, but Sydney McMurter stood tall and made 46 saves for the York win.
Neither the #3 St. FX X-Women or the #9 Calgary Dinos played over the week.
Top 10 Ups and Downs
Going into week 8, the CIS Top 10 saw quite a bit of movement, but no newcomers.
Manitoba moved up a spot from #6 to #5.
Brock jumped two spots, to take Manitoba's former #6 ranking.
Guelph fell from #5 to #7, while Windsor slid from #7 to #8.