A pair of rookies notched their first CIS goals to lead the University of Saskatchewan Huskies to a 2-1 win over the Mount Royal University Cougars in the Canada West season opener Friday night in Sasaktoon.
Morgan Willoughby and Brooklyn Haubrich each scored their first goal for the green and white to get the season started at 1-0.
Mount Royal took an early lead in the game. With the Cougars on the attack Jocelyn Froelich sent a hard pass off the boards that bounced over the stick of a Huskie defenceman right to Maggie Shykula-Ross in the slot. The forward sent a shot just over the pad of Cassidy Hendricks to make it 1-0 5:51 into the game.
The Huskies would answer back in the first period at 11:19 on the power-play. Morgan Willoughby sent a slap shot at the net from the top of the circle. The shot deflected off a Cougar stick in front before sailing over the shoulder of Jessica Ross to even the game at one.
Both teams tightened up defensively in the second period, shutting down any serious scoring chances. Saskatchewan seemed to have the momentum in the second, outshooting the Cougars 13-2. Mount Royal came back strong in the third, attacking the Huskie net in the opening minutes. Despite numerous chances on both ends, each goalie stood strong in the crease to keep the game locked at one.
Saskatchewan would finally break through in the game’s closing minutes. Again on the power-play, Kori Herner and Lauren Zary started a passing play behind the net ending with a bouncing puck landing on the stick of the freshman Haubrich. Haubrich made no mistake in putting home the game winner for her first career CIS goal.
Fourth-year goalie Cassidy Hendricks made 20 saves in net for the Huskies, while fifth-year Jessica Ross made 24 in net for Mount Royal.
The two teams meet again at 5 p.m. in Saskatoon’s Rutherford Rink on Saturday.