The University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team visited the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds this weekend on the back of three consecutive losses. Entering the matchup, the herd’s last win was at Regina on Oct. 9.
In their trip to Canada’s west coast, Manitoba dropped a 2-1 decision before winning convincingly 4-1 the very next day.
The 2-1 defeat on Friday marked the first time since the 2012-13 season which the Bisons have lost four consecutive games.
UBC was looking to extend their run of four straight wins on Friday. Meanwhile, Manitoba got off to the perfect start in their hunt to end a three-game losing streak.
Charity Price scored just 1:51 into the game after linemate Nicole Carswell intercepted a Thunderbird pass in front the opposition goal. Price managed to beat goaltender Samantha Langford’s high glove for her first goal of the season.
The goal also broke a cold spell for the Bisons, who scored in the opening period for the first time all season.
As quickly as the Bisons got their offense running, so too did the Thunderbirds, and the home side pulled off a first-period turnaround to take the lead before the first intermission.
UBC levelled the game five minutes after trailing through Rebecca Unrau. The forward capitalized for her sixth goal of the season after a mad battle for the puck behind Manitoba goalie Rachel Dyck’s net.
Forward Katie Zinn, who gave possession away for the Bisons’ goal, made up for her earlier mistake by taking the lead for UBC just minutes after equalizing. The former Penn State player beat Dyck for her second goal of the season.
Both goaltenders remained sharp for the rest of the game, as the score would remain 2-1. Dyck finished with 19 saves while Langford was relatively untested with 15 stops.
The Bisons gained an early lead yet again, scoring six minutes into the second matchup on Saturday. Defenceman Erica Rieder tallied the goal on a power play.
Carswell added to the lead, notching her second point in two games to increase Manitoba’s lead to 2-0 midway through the first period.
Celine Caron scored just 2:19 into the second period to mount a comfortable Bisons lead. Alana Serhan notched the lone assist on the goal for her second of the game.
Just a minute and 14 seconds later, UBC launched a comeback bid when Kathleen Cahoon capitalized got the Thunderbirds on the board.
That was as far as the hosts would get to landing a second straight win over the Bisons, however. Leading scorer Alanna Sharman scored shorthanded before the midway point of the game to restore the visitors’ three-goal cushion.
The game finished 4-1 for the Bisons, who had combined for just three goals in their previous three matchups heading into Saturday’s head-to-head.
The two performances marked a significant weekend for head coach Jon Rempel’s team. Not only did the Bisons improve to 3-5, but finally scored a first period goal and more than two goals in a game for just the second time in the season.
Manitoba returns home next weekend to host the Calgary Dinos on Oct. 30 and 31, respectively.