REGINA, Sask. – Kayla Lavallee scored in the seventh round of the shootout to give the Alberta Pandas a 3-2 win over the Regina Cougars in a tight Canada West women’s hockey game on Saturday night at The Co-operators Centre.
Alison Campbell and Lindsay Cunningham both scored in regulation for Alberta, while Gina Campbell and Carleen Meszaros replied for the Cougars. Making just her second start since Christmas, rookie goalie Lindsey Post made 22 saves in regulation for the Pandas and stopped six of the U of R’s seven attempts in the shootout to secure the win.
Alberta’s shootout win coupled with UBC’s shootout win on Saturday night means that the Cougars leave the weekend the same way they entered it – in second place in the Canada West standings, one point ahead of third place (UBC) and two points ahead of fourth (Alberta). The Cougars remain in control of their own destiny, as they hold the tiebreakers over both teams and can clinch a bye through the conference quarterfinals by collecting at least three points at Manitoba next weekend.
UBC and Alberta play each other next weekend as the battle for second, third, and fourth spot in the conference standings goes right down to the wire.
Alberta was held off the scoresheet in a 3-0 loss to the Cougars on Friday night, but the Pandas had other ideas on Saturday. With the Pandas on a power play four minutes into the game, Alison Campbell took a feed from Monika Moskalski in the slot and beat Cougar goalie Jennifer Schmidt to get Alberta on the board.
The Cougars replied with some offence from their own Campbell, as Gina Campbell pounced on a rebound following a Paige Wheeler shot and deposited her fourth of the season – and her third in the last four games – to tie the game at 1-1.
Moskalski also assisted on Cunningham’s goal, which put Alberta back into the lead near the midway mark of the second period. That lead lasted until with three minutes left in the middle frame, when Cougar blueliner Carleen Meszaros came in on a 1-on-1 and snapped a low, hard shot past Post to knot the game at 2-2 going into the third.
Neither team was able to break through in the third period, though both teams had to kill off a two-minute minor including a late Wheeler penalty for body contact that essentially put the Cougars shorthanded for the final two minutes of regulation. The U of R killed it off, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra frame, both teams registered three shots with the best chance coming when Alberta’s leading scorer Karla Bourke was awarded a penalty shot that was unsuccessful. In the shootout, Katie Stewart scored in the first round for Alberta and Gina Campbell evened it up for the Cougars in the second. Both goalies stopped the next four shots and Post also stopped Wheeler in the seventh, leading to Lavallee’s attempt where she faked to the forehand, went to her backhand, and shelved it to give the Pandas a tough road win.
Alberta ended up 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Cougars were unsuccessful on their five opportunities with the man advantage. Making her second start in as many nights, Schmidt ended up with 17 saves as the Cougars outshot Alberta by a 24-19 margin in regulation and overtime.