The Bisons went the distance in both their games against the conference-leading UBC Thunderbirds. Manitoba secured three points at home, losing 3-2 in a shootout on Friday but getting redemption the following night in a 3-2 victory.
Manitoba opened the scoring on Friday night just over three minutes in. Rachèle Bosc forced a turnover, broke in alone on UBC goalie Danielle Dube, and scored her first goal of the season.
The Bisons were the stronger team throughout the remainder of the period, playing physical and getting on the puck. They outshot UBC 12-7 in the first, and continued their lead to two in the final minute of the first. Kyleigh Palmer scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
Manitoba had multiple opportunities to extend their lead in the second period but hit the crossbar twice. UBC got plenty of scoring chances on Bison goalie Dée-Ana Marion, but were unable to capitalize until midway through the second. After killing off a tripping penalty, the Thunderbirds cut the Bisons’ lead to one.
UBC built on their momentum and tied the game just under four minutes into the third.
The Bisons killed two penalties but didn’t solve Dube as the game headed into overtime. Manitoba got a golden power play opportunity to end the overtime period but ultimately could not win the game. In the shootout, Thunderbird Christi Capozzi scored the only goal, securing a comeback victory for the visitors.
“We had chances at 2-0 to put them away early in the second period, but we hit the posts,” said Bison head coach Jon Rempel.
“We had two takeaways where we were in alone on a goalie and we didn’t score on either of them. I think if we made it 3-0 there, the game might have turned out differently. But that’s part of learning.”
The following night the Bisons were looking for better results.
Kayleigh Weins scored the opening goal for Manitoba late in the first with assists coming from Cassandra Taylor and Sara Barnabe. UBC would tie things up before the end of the period. Stephanie Schaupmeyer redirected a Capozzi shot from the blue-line in the final minute of the period.
The Bisons power play was the difference that night. Manitoba notched two goals with the main advantage in the second period. Caitlin MacDonald restored the Bison lead 1:12 into the second, with Meagan Vestby and Alana Serhan earning assists on the play.
Just over 30 seconds after giving up the lead on a power play goal, UBC was forced to kill another penalty when Maggie Litchfield-Medd potted her sixth goal of the year to extend the Bisons lead to two. UBC would score late in the third period, but Manitoba was able to fight off their comeback attempt and hold on for the 3-2 win.
First-year goalie Amanda Schubert was solid in net for the Bisons, stopping 24 shots that night.
With the win, the Bisons improve their record to 8-4-2, while UBC remains atop the Canada West conference with 10-3-1. The Bisons wrap up the first half of the season before heading into the winter break at home, hosting the U of Alberta Pandas Nov. 29 and 30.