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By Jason Hills
Playing in their final game at Clare Drake Arena, fifth-year forwards Karla Bourke and Monika Moskalski made sure they left on a high note. They provided the bulk of the offense scoring two points each as the University of Alberta Pandas earned a convincing 4-1 over the visiting University of Saskatchewan Huskies Sunday afternoon to win their Canada West quarter-final series 2-1.
Bourke scored twice and Moskalski added a goal and a helper in the series clinching win. Second-year forward Janelle Froehler added a late goal, while former Panda Cami Wooster scored the only tally for Saskatchewan.
Pandas’ netminder Michala Jefffies made 20 saves in the win, while Saskatchewan’s Cassidy Hendricks made 29 saves in the loss.
The series victory moves Alberta into the Canada West semi-final where they’ll face the defending CIS champion Calgary Dinos next weekend.
After earning their first-ever playoff win against the Pandas on Saturday night, Saskatchewan started the game right where they left off outshooting the Pandas 5-1 in the first eight minutes of the contest, but unable to solve Jeffries.
From that point forward, the Pandas turned their game up a big notch, and Bourke and Moskalski gave Alberta a 2-0 lead on goals just 4:56 apart.
Moskalski’s goal, which proved to be the game-winner was her first-ever playoff goal, while Bourke has been a force in the opening round of the playoffs leading Alberta with three goals and four points.
Draper did some line shuffling in Game 3 and moved fifth-year forward Meg Omand up to the top line and the always steady penalty killer did a great job paired with Bourke and rookie forward Jessica Kampjes doing a lot of the grunt work.
Omand was also a force on the PK, holding the Huskies to go just 1 for 6 on the power play. Heading into Game three, the Huskies power play had been running at a 30.2% clip.
After managing just 10 shots through the first 40 minutes of the contest, the Huskies came out with a lot more urgency in the final stanza as they found themselves down 3-1.
Saskatchewan had an early power play in the third and they generated more shots on that man advantage than they did for the period and a half prior, and that led to Wooster’s second goal of the playoffs.
“We simply ran out of gas,” said Huskies head coach Steve Kook. “The playoffs can be an emotional toll. It all comes down to timing. If we get a couple goals when we really had the pressure on (in the first period), it’s a different story. Then they’re the ones that are forced to fight back, but Alberta is very tough once they get the lead. “It’s would’ve been easy for the girl to check out heading into the third, but I thought we showed a lot of heart and character and I was real happy with the effort in the third.”
The Pandas, fifth place finishers at the 2012 CIS championship, will now head to Calgary to face the conference leading Dinos in a best-of-three semi final series beginning on February 22.