Bisons beat Cougars in their own den

Captain Amy Lee and the rest of the Bison women’s hockey team entered this past weekend’s games against Mount Royal sitting fifth in the Canada West conference, just three points ahead of the eighth place Cougars. A sweep would go a long ways for either team, as Mount Royal would push themselves right back into the playoff hunt, while Manitoba was looking to potentially move up in the standings as well. The Bisons were coming off three consecutive victories, while Mount Royal had lost six straight.

Friday night’s game stayed rather close throughout the contest, as the teams traded goals. Maggie Litchfield-Medd opened the scoring for the Bisons in the first period, but Mount Royal would respond with just 4.1 seconds remaining in the period to leave the score tied 1-1 at intermission.

Lindsay Blight scored her first as a Bison in the second period, but the Royals again tied the score in the third. Caitlin MacDonald restored the Bisons’ lead only to yet again have Mount Royal tie things up a little over a minute later. Manitoba grabbed the lead for good on the power play off the stick of Nellie Minshull, and Litchfield-Medd added an insurance marker, her second of the game, with a short-handed goal, as the Bisons held on for a 5-3 win despite being outshot 26-19.

Saturday night’s game started with a strong showing by Manitoba, putting up 10 shots to just three by Mount Royal in the first period, yet the teams entered the second period scoreless. The Bisons soon grabbed the lead as Amy Lee scored her third of the season. Caitlin MacDonald and Meagan Vestby added insurance tallies and the Bisons were up by three after the second period.

A very uneventful third period, in which the teams combined for just nine shots on goal, made it seem as though a shutout was inevitable for Bisons goalie Dée-Ana Marion, but those hopes were dashed with just 14 seconds left in the game as Mount Royal’s Sarah Weninger made the final result 3-1 Manitoba.

The Bisons never trailed on the weekend, a testament to the play of their goalie, Marion. Since replacing Leiette Klassen as the Bisons starting netminder, things have been on the upswing for Manitoba. They’ve now won five in a row, but will face a stern test against CIS #1 ranked Calgary next weekend.