February 2, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – A two-goal effort from Sara Greschner in the final period was enough for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies to escape with a 2-1 victory over the No. 2 University of Calgary Dinos on Friday night at the Father David Bauer Arena.
The first 40 minutes saw a very tight defensive game before the offensives broke out in the third with some frantic action. The Dinos had to do without the services Russian import Iya Gavrilova, who was out action on Friday evening.
“I’m disappointed with the team; I don’t think we were prepared to play that game,” explained head coach Danielle Goyette. “I think we came to the rink thinking it was going to be easy, but we talked before the game that they are in sixth place and are fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
“They can make any excuse they want, but anytime you show up to play a hockey game, we want to play the best we can be, right now though I feel like some players checked out,” added Goyette.
Calgary will not be affected in the standings as they fell to 20-4-1. The Dinos already clinched the top spot in the conference after a two-game sweep against the Alberta Pandas last weekend. The win means much more to the Huskies as they move closer to grabbing their own playoff spot, now with a record of 10-11-4.
The first period was played conservatively by both sides as neither would get an edge on the other. Jennifer Mallard got her sixth assignment of the year between the pipes for Calgary and turned away all nine shots she faced in the opening period, while Cassidy Hendricks denied eight attempts off the sticks of Dinos. Hayley Wickenheiser was the most dangerous scoring threat after one as she mustered five shots on goal.
The game remained deadlocked after another 20 minute session. Both defences tightened up as the Dinos and Huskies could only manage five shots each. Fourth-year Calgary forward Erika Mitschke might have had the best chance for the home side in the middle stanza as she fluttered the puck from the backhand while in the slot, but couldn’t beat the Saskatchewan goaltender.
On a power play at 13:54 of the third, Saskatchewan opened the scoring. A pass from the right side of the goal by Cami Wooster found the tape of Greschner who buried her sixth of the campaign past Mallard on the power play.
Under three minutes later, the Huskies extended their lead to 2-0. Greschner walked in from the left side where she eluded a defender and pocketed a shot past Mallard for her second of the game and seventh of the year.
Looking to avoid their first shutout loss since 2011, Calgary pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker while on a power play in the final minute. Wickenheiser scored her 15th of the season at 19:19 and moments later another infraction triggered another man-advantage for the Dinos. This time though, nothing could get past Hendricks as Saskatchewan picked up the win.
Calgary outshot Saskatchewan 27-23. Both the Dinos and Huskies were 1/6 on the power play.
The Dinos wrap up the 2012-13 regular season next weekend with two games against the inner-city rival Mount Royal Cougars. Game one of the Crowchild Classic series will be played at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Feb. 7 as part of a double-header of men’s and women’s hockey being hosted by the Calgary Flames. Action will shift back to the Father David Bauer Arena the following night.