The University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team scored two timely third-period goals as they came back to defeat the Saskatchewan Huskies on Nov. 23 by a score of 2-1 at Wayne Fleming Arena.
Lauryn Keen and Karissa Kirkup both found the back of the net for the Bisons in the third period, as they helped power their club to the victory. Jenai Buchanan and Lauren Taraschuk added assists on Kirkup’s game-winning goal.
Lauren Tarashcuk stopped 16 of 17 shots in the win for Manitoba.
On the other end, Jessica Vance turned aside 14 of the 16 shots fired on net for Saskatchewan, as the former Bison was unable to register a win in her return to Winnipeg.
With the win, Manitoba advanced to 8-3-2-0, while Saskatchewan fell to 5-4-3-1.
The Huskies broke the dead lock with the only goal of the period at 10:02. Defender Isabella Pozzi let a shot go off in traffic and it bounced directly to forward Abby Shirley who tapped it in to give her club an early 1-0 lead.
Both teams had one power play opportunity in the opening 20 minutes, however smothering play in and around the half wall negated many chances.
Manitoba had a few solid chances to tie the contest. Forward Mekala Fisher shot with five minutes to play beat Huskies goaltender Vance but not the post, while linemate Emilie Masse got a lead pass from Jordyn Zacharias in the last minute, however her open look was stopped by Vance.
The Huskies had a great chance in the opening minute and a half of the second period as a loose puck sat around the Bisons crease, however Shirley was stopped by Taraschuk. Forward Kennedy Brown also had a strong opportunity six minutes in on a partial breakaway but was also stymied by Taraschuk.
Manitoba’s aggressive forecheck earned them a few quality chances in the first five minutes. One of those came on a positive defensive play from forward Kaityln Chatyrbok that led to a good look for linemate Madison Cole, however she couldn’t solve Vance.
Zacharias also had a good opportunity on the power play with three minutes to go, however Vance stood tall.
The Huskies took their third penalty of the game ten seconds into the third period and Manitoba made them pay on the power play, as forward Lauryn Keen tapped a puck five-hole from in tight against Vance. The goal was the first surrendered on the penalty kill on the road for Saskatchewan.
Kirkup’s breakaway goal with eight minutes remaining in the third period would stand as the game, as defender Jenai Buchanan caught Saskatchewan on a line change, springing the speedy forward who made no mistake past the blocker of Vance. The play was set up by Taraschuk, who made a few key saves earlier in the shift and recorded her first U SPORTS assist on the play.
The visitors pressed for the equalizer, with their best chance coming with three minutes to go, as Shirley deflected a shot that couldn’t beat Taraschuk.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan will take the ice once again tomorrow at Wayne Fleming Arena, as the puck gets dropped at 4:00 p.m.