Calgary, AB- On Saturday evening the Saskatchewan Huskies (9-5-2) took down the Mount Royal Cougars (8-7-1) by a score of 2-1 at the Flames Community Arenas. Marley Ervines and Kaitlin Willoughby found the back of the net for the Huskies, while Kate Hufnagel scored the Cougars' lone marker.
The Huskies managed to take down one of the hottest teams in the Canada West, as the Cougars came into the game winning six of their last seven contests.
Cougars' goaltender Jessica Ross was forced to be sharp early on in her first start since November 13, making three solid saves in the first two minutes.
The Huskies carried the momentum for the duration of the period, keeping the puck pinned in the Cougars' end. While Saskatchewan had multiple good scoring chances, Ross was able to keep the puck out of the net and her defense did a good job clearing rebounds out of harm's way.
The Cougars couldn't take the furious Huskies pressure forever. 20 seconds into the second period, on a power play carried over from the first period, Saskatchewan opened the scoring. After gaining entrance into the Cougars' zone, Huskies' defenseman Leah Bohlken sent a shot towards the net from the blueline. With four players blocking Ross' view, the puck hit Marley Ervines stick on its way past the screened goaltender, giving Ervine her sixth of the season.
The goal seemed to set off a spark within the Cougars team, as they began dominating play. In fact, Mount Royal registered 18 shots on goal in the second frame, all turned aside by Huskies goaltender Cassidy Hendricks.
While the Huskies only managed five shots in the second, they would strike again with just 30 seconds left in the period. After a mad scramble in front left Ross out of position, Kaitlin Willoughby found the loose puck just outside the crease. From there, Willoughby slid the puck past Ross, who was preoccupied trying to locate the puck at the other side of the net. Willoughby's fourth of the year gave Saskatchewan a two goal cushion going into the final frame.
With ten minutes remaining in the contest, Hali Reardon had a gorgeous opportunity to cut the lead in half. Blistering in on the left wing, Reardon's shot beat Hendricks on the glove side. However, Hendricks could let out a sigh of relief as the puck caught the crossbar, sending the puck harmlessly into the corner.
The Cougars were finally able to fool Hendricks with just over five minutes remaining in the game. After a body checking call sent Mount Royal to the powerplay, Sarah Weninger swooped around behind the Huskies net. With a crowd in front, Weninger's wrap around attempt found the stick of teammate Kate Hufnagel who buried her third of the year.
After pulling Ross with time ticking down, Mount Royal sent two extra players onto the ice, giving them a too many men penalty at the most inopportune time.
Mount Royal was unable to score after the call, giving Saskatchewan a key win.
Cassidy Hendricks improved her record to 7-4-2 in a rock solid performance that saw her stop 26 of the 27 Mount Royal shots. Meanwhile, Jess Rossturned aside 22 of the 24 Huskies shots, falling to 2-5 on the year.
The league will take a break until after Christmas, but on January 8 the Cougars will travel to Vancouver to take on the University of British Columbia. The Huskies, meanwhile, will stay home to take on the University of Lethbridge, also on January 8.