Written by: John Gaudes
January 5, 2013, WINNIPEG – Coming into Friday night’s game, Canada West’s seventh-placed Bisons were looking to accomplish two goals. First, to start 2013 with a win. Second, to get one step closer to a playoff spot and the opposing fifth-placed Saskatchewan Huskies.
With a 5-2 win at Max Bell Centre, they were able to accomplish both. Scoring three goals in the last five minutes, Manitoba (6-8-3) topped the Huskies (6-7-4) and achieved their season high for goals in a game.
Scoring the game-winner with five minutes left was Manitoba forward Caitlin MacDonald, who played hero on a night where five different Bisons notched goals.
For Saskatchewan, goals from forwards Danny Stone and Sara Greschner were enough to keep them in the game for 55 minutes. The team’s penalty kill, though, was ultimately overwhelmed in the closing five, as the Huskies committed two minor penalties and gave up three goals.
“For not having played in a month, we did a good job of managing the game,” said Bisons head coach Jon Rempel. “Our penalty kill to start the third gave us momentum, and when we scored the third goal, everyone just breathed a sigh of relief.”
Both teams opened the game with what appeared to be holiday legs, with lackadaisical play by both sides on the defensive end.
The Huskies defense, though, was the first to break, just seven minutes in. Bisons forward Nellie Minshull, flying in untouched with several players jockeying for the puck in front of the goalie, was able to shelf the puck to give Manitoba the early 1-0 lead.
Just moments after the puck dropped in the second though, Danny Stone was able to walk in untouched, deke out Manitoba goalie Dée-Ana Marion and beautifully put the puck in to tie the score. Three minutes after that, a puck behind the net was mishandled by Manitoba. As it dribbled in front of Marion, Sara Greschner jumped on it, giving Saskatchewan their first lead of the night, 2-1.
Late in the same period, though, the Bisons tied things up after a big rebound was snapped in by defenseman Michelle Pawluk. A few chances for Huskies late didn’t result in a goal, and the two teams entered the final frame tied at two.
A tight third period then peaked with five minutes remaining, when two consecutive minor penalties by Saskatchewan put them in a tough spot. Capitalizing, MacDonald clapped a powerplay goal from the point to put the game-winner in the top shelf. Manitoba’s Amy Lee and Kyleigh Palmer each added powerplay goals in the final minutes to put the game away.
Bisons goalie Dée-Ana Marion recorded 16 saves on the night, while Huskies goalie Cassidy Hendricks notched 22.
The Bisons women’s hockey team will finish their home back-to-back against the Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday, Jan. 5th. The puck drops at 7 p.m. CST.