This weekend was a matchup featuring the two top teams in the Canada West, as the Bisons travelled to Vancouver to take on the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Manitoba failed to win in both games against the T-Birds, falling 3-2 on Friday, and 6-2 on Saturday.
The Bisons controlled possession for the majority of the contest, but goals were traded back and forth and ended with the Thunderbirds winning 3-2.
After an early penalty by UBC, the Bisons appeared to take control of the game. However, despite extended pressure and possession of the puck, they had trouble testing Thunderbird goaltender Amelia Boughn. Bison goalie Rachel Dyck was tested heavily near the midpoint of the period but stood tall.
The Thunderbirds got on the board first, as Mathea Fischer tallied her third of the year. Kelly Murray put a point shot towards the net and Fischer waited in front with a screen. She got her stick on the puck and tipped the shot over Dyck’s glove to give UBC the lead near the 14-minute mark.
The Bisons evened up the score seconds later. Courtlyn Oswald got the puck down low behind the UBC net, and put it back into the slot where her sister, Sheridan Oswald, was waiting. Sheridan made no mistake and put the one-timer past Boughn to tie the game 1-1.
The Bisons continued their pressure in the second period, but Lauryn Keen took a hooking penalty and gave the Thunderbirds an opportunity to take the lead back. On the ensuing power play, a point shot by Nicole Saxvik was deflected in front by Cassandra Vilgrain and past Dyck, restoring UBC’s lead at 2-1.
Like the first goal, the Bisons responded seconds later. Charity Price broke into the UBC zone and put a one-handed shot on net, which was initially stopped by Boughn. Price stayed with it, and got the tying goal midway through the second.
UBC controlled play for the majority of the third period, and it payed off in the final two minutes. Stephanie Schaupmeyer entered the Bisons’ zone and dropped a pass to Hannah Clayton-Carroll in the slot. Clayton-Carroll put a shot from the faceoff circle top corner over Dyck’s glove to put UBC ahead 3-2. This proved to be the game winner and handed Manitoba their first loss of the season.
The Bisons were back at it again Saturday, trying to avenge their first loss of the season against the Thunderbirds. UBC had other plans, however, and swept the weekend series with a 6-2 win.
The Thunderbirds got on the board first, as Schaupmeyer scored her second of the season less than two minutes in. Schaupmeyer took an outlet pass near centre ice and streaked into the Bisons’ zone on a two-on-one. She placed a wrist shot from the faceoff dot under the glove of Dyck to give UBC the 1-0 lead.
The second period was less kind to Manitoba. Six minutes into the frame, Fischer fed the puck down low to Kathleen Cahoon. Cahoon fought off a check by the Bison defense and put a shot over Dyck’s shoulder in tight.
Two minutes later, Clayton-Carroll extended the lead further. Celine Tardif fired a shot towards the Manitoba net from the boards, where Clayton-Carroll waited to tip it past the Bison netminder. The 3-0 lead signalled the end of Dyck’s night in goal, as she was pulled in favour of Amanda Schubert.
Alexa Ranahan added another for UBC before the Bisons got on the board thanks to Erin Kucheravy. Keen passed the puck back after getting tangled up in the UBC slot. Kucheravy snagged the loose puck and wired it over the shoulder of Thunderbird goaltender Tory Micklash, cutting the lead to 4-1.
Haneet Parhar and Mairead Bast added to the Thunderbirds’ lead in the third period, and UBC cruised to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Bisons. Cassandra Taylor was the only other Bison player to score in the contest, and Manitoba now sits at 6-2-0 on the year.
The Bisons return home to the Wayne Fleming Arena to avenge their first two losses in a weekend series against the University of Calgary Dinos. First puck drop is Nov. 4 at 7:00 p.m., and Nov. 5 at 1:00 p.m.