The University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team had their five-game winning streak snapped on Friday night by the Saskatchewan Huskies in double overtime, but they are heading home on a positive note.
Saturday’s matchup saw the herd erase an early 1-0 deficit, coming back to win 3-1. The victory closed out a four-game road trip for the herd, who produced a 3-0-0-1 record during that span.
Saskatchewan entered the series having dropped both games last weekend to the UBC Thunderbirds in a 1-0 double overtime loss and 4-3 regulation defeat, respectively. Meanwhile, Manitoba was sparkling under some hot goaltending, coming into the contest with three consecutive shutout victories.
The Bisons and Huskies couldn’t break the deadlock after the opening 20 minutes, with the hosts leading 7-5 on the shot clock. Just 1:27 into the second frame, though, it was the Bisons who took the lead as Kayleigh Wiens scored her third goal of the season.
As the period progressed, the pendulum gradually began swinging Saskatchewan’s way. The Huskies leveled the contest midway through the period when Elizabeth Salyn scored her first ever CIS goal. Saskatchewan’s tally also snapped Manitoba’s shutout streak of almost 250 minutes unbeaten.
Six minutes before the second intermission, the Huskies took a 2-1 lead. Kaitlin Willoughby blew by her opposing defender and beat goalie Rachel Dyck for her third of the season. Saskatchewan also continued to dominate the shot clock, leading 17-14 through two periods.
With less than seven minutes to go in the final frame, the Bisons pressed for an equalizer. Defenceman Erica Rieder provided relief for the visitors when she jumped on a rebound to level the score at 2-2. Wiens drew an assist on the goal for her second point of the game.
Neither side could pot the game winner on regulation, requiring two overtime periods before either team could clinch the extra point.
At 3:01 of the second extra frame, Marley Ervine broke in and sniped the game-winner past Dyck’s glove side. It was the fifth-year player’s 12th point through 13 games on the season.
The 3-2 double-OT loss marked the Bisons’ first loss since Oct. 23 against the UBC Thunderbirds.
The Huskies used their momentum from Friday’s game to get to the Bisons early in the second matchup of the weekend. Julia Flinton scored unassisted to get Saskatchewan on the board just 2:23 into the first. Impressively, the goal was the blue-liner’s 12th point in just 14 games this season.
Looking to cut into the Huskies’ early lead, Bison forward Karissa Kirkup leveled the score on the power play after Saskatchewan’s Lauren Zary took a tripping penalty midway through the period. The freshman snapped a nine-game goal drought with the tally.
Less than five minutes later, Kirkup scored again on the power play, claiming the lead for the Bisons heading into the first intermission. Alana Serhan notched assists on both of Kirkup’s first-period goals.
Though the score remained 2-1 after two frames, the game got feisty as both sides combined for 16 minutes in penalties during the second period.
Up by a single tally, Manitoba needed some help from Dyck, who produced 17 saves through two periods. She stayed sharp, saving 13 more in the final 20 minutes to preserve the win.
Alanna Sharman clinched the game with less than a minute remaining in the third, helping the Bisons came out on top 3-1.
With the victory, Manitoba climbs to second in the Canada West Division, level in points with the Alberta Pandas.
The herd will head back home this weekend, hosting the Regina Cougars on Friday and Saturday at the Wayne Fleming Arena.