By Woodard, Dale on November 13, 2017.
It ended with an overtime loss, but it’s not a weekend the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s hockey team is about to throw back.
The Horns were topped 2-1 in overtime by the Alberta Pandas during the second game of a Canada West homestand Saturday night at Nicholas Sheran Arena.
However, the OT loss combined with a 3-1 win over the Pandas Friday night not only improves the Horns to 4-5-1-0 on the season, but also gives the team four of six available points off the defending U SPORTS and second ranked Pandas.
“I am pretty happy with that,” said Pronghorns head coach Michelle Janus whose team is now sixth in the Canada West. “As a coach you’re never satisfied. But certainly against that team I’ll take what we can get.”
On Saturday, the teams skated to a scoreless draw until the Pandas took a 1-0 lead with 2:06 left in the second.
But the Pronghorns evened it up before the second intermission on a goal from Maddison Toppe.
“It was kind of fumbled play by the goalie behind their net,” said Janus. “I think she and her defenceman collided and Maddison Toppe picked up the garbage and stuffed it in. She’s been waiting a long time for her first goal, so it was nice to get that monkey off her back.”
But the Pandas netted the winner in overtime to avoid the sweep.
“I thought Alberta took advantage early and took the better part of that first period, they definitely had more scoring opportunities than we did. I think it was caused by the lack of speed and the lack of physicality,” said Janus of Saturday’s game.
“They played well Friday night, they were fired up. We had the Alumni Weekend, so it was a little extra motivation there. But we executed our systems fairly well. I think the intensity and the amount of physicality we played against this team slowed them down and allowed us to execute our systems a bit better.”
Pronghorns goaltender Alicia Anderson stopped 48 shots Saturday as the Horns hit the road to Winnipeg this weekend to take on the 7-3 Manitoba Bisons.
“It’s more confidence moving forward for them,” said Janus. “I think with a young team, the more confidence they can gain, the easier it’s going to be to play and get up against the teams like of U of A and certainly Manitoba next weekend. They’re a fast team as well and they execute well. I think any grads they saw last year were from their fourth line, so they’re only getting stronger.”
On the men’s side, the Pronghorns were defeated 6-1 by the Alberta Golden Bears – now 10-0 and in first in the Canada West – Saturday night in Edmonton and are 1-8-1.
Connor Sanvido scored the Horns, who host the Bisons (6-4) Friday night at 7 p.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena and again at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
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