A rough restart

Photo by Shawn Coates

The University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team didn’t get their new year running on all cylinders on Friday night. The herd dropped a 2-0 decision at the hands of the Alberta Pandas, now the league-leaders in Canada West. With a shutout loss, Manitoba suffered their first scoreless performance since an October 16 home matchup hosting Mount Royal.

Both teams opened up the CIS season’s premiere weekend in Manitoba, with the home side recording a 2-1 win and 4-0 loss, respectively.

Alberta set the tone early, when Alison Campbell grabbed the go-ahead goal just 18 seconds into the game. The Edmonton native beat goalie Rachel Dyck top-shelf after ending the zone for her third goal of the season.

Though the Bisons were caught by an early set back, Jon Rempel’s side responded valiantly. The first period featured a fiery affair as both teams took three penalties each, although neither powerplay unit made good on their chances.

In Manitoba’s way all evening was Alberta goalie Lindsey Post. The fourth-year Quebec native recorded 14 saves for her fifth shutout of the CIS season. Her perfect game was in part due to a resilient Pandas defence, who held the Bisons to only three shots in the third period.

Meanwhile, Dyck stood firm for Manitoba in their search for an equalizing goal. After allowing Alberta to capitalize with their first chance of the game, Dyck stopped the next 15 shots she faced. However, the Pandas sealed the win by scoring on the empty net with Campbell’s second goal of the contest.

With the loss, the Bisons fall to third in the Canada West division with a 9-7-1 record. Meanwhile, the win gives the Pandas a two-point cushion at the top of Canada West, with a 10-6-1 record.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday, Jan. 9 to complete the weekend series.