A revenge bid by the U of M Bisons women’s hockey team fell short Saturday in a 1-0 double overtime loss to the University of Alberta Pandas.
Some questionable officiating led to a margin of six penalties-to-one in favour of Alberta, but Manitoba was buoyed by strong defensive play and a determined Lauren Taraschuk.
The Bisons netminder stopped 34 of 35 shots in the game.
“There’s that old cheesy saying about your goalie being your best [penalty killer] and she definitely was tonight,” Bisons interim head coach Sean Fisher said.
Following a scoreless first period, both sides came out shooting in the second. Alanna Sharman had a golden chance stopped by the crossbar, but it was Taraschuk who had the play of the day.
Alberta entered the zone on a broken two-on-one, and a cross-ice pass went to Autumn MacDougall in the left faceoff dot. Taraschuk slid across, stopping the puck with her toe to keep the score knotted at 0-0 in the second.
“I know she wasn’t happy with a couple [goals] there yesterday and a ticked-off Lauren Tarashcuk is usually a pretty dangerous Lauren Taraschuk,” Fisher said.
Late in the game, with Erica Rieder already in the box, Manitoba took two more penalties — by Jenai Buchanan and Lauryn Keen — setting up a five-on-three situation. Alberta laid siege to the Bisons net but Taraschuk locked it down.
“We were six-on-four there for about thirty — at least — seconds and then had two minutes and 20 seconds of five-on-three just the way that works out,” Fisher said.
“Girls did a great job. They rotated well, they had good sticks, communicated well and [Taraschuk] made a number of really good saves there and [Alexandra] Anderson was great there on the kill at the end.”
The Bisons killed off the Rieder and Keen penalties, ending regulation tied 0-0. They then worked off the Buchanan penalty in the opening moments of overtime.
The first overtime solved nothing and in the second extra frame, Alberta took it.
Abby Benning took a pass and curled around the faceoff circle near the point to walk into the slot. Her shot went through a crowd and low-blocker on Taraschuk to give Alberta the 1-0 win.
The Bisons will hit the ice again next weekend in Calgary to take on the Mount Royal University Cougars. Game one is 8 p.m. CST on Jan. 11 and game two is the next day at 4 p.m. CST.