Huskies Open 2016 With Win Over Pronghorns

Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer Photography
Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer Photography

Fifth-year defenceman Julia Flinton tallied three assists to help the No. 7 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies to a 4-2 win over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Friday night at Rutherford Rink.

With the win the Huskies improve to 7-5-3-2 on the season, while the Pronghorns drop to 6-8-2-1.

It took little time for the Huskies' number one ranked power-play in the country to get rolling in 2016. On just their second advantage of the night, Leah Bohlken ripped a slap shot on net that was deflected in past a screened Alicia Anderson at 10:22 by Lauren Zary.

Just over two minutes later Saskatchewan doubled its lead when Kori Herner slammed home a Julia Flinton point shot. Flinton's shot squeaked through Anderson's pads and stopped in the crease and stopped behind the 'Horns' netminder just short of the goal line. Herner won the race to the puck at 12:07 for her third goal of the season.

Lethbridge would get on the board on the power-play late in the first period to head to the locker room on a positive note. Brett Campbell gloved down a deflected Jodi Gentile attempt in front of the Huskie net, dropped it and fired a shot into the back of the net to cut the deficit in half.

It was the first chance for the 'Horns since a glorious chance in the opening minute of the contest when Kirsten Reeves snuck in behind the defence on a breakaway. Cassidy Hendricks was up to the challenge, kicking out her left pad to make the save.

After three goals in the first period the light came on just once in the second. Again it was the Saskatchewan power-play going to work after the Huskies came into the game converting on 29 percent of their chances this season. Marley Ervine finished off a pass from Lauren Zary after Flinton started the play at the point at 12:25.

Both goalies did all they could to keep the score locked at 3-1 in the third period. Each made a number of key saves with their teams short-handed. In the game's closing minutes the 'Horns would make it interesting. After Hendricks made a save on a shot from the point, a scramble ensued for the rebound in front of the crease. Lethbridge's leading goal scorer Lauren Fredrich was the one to get her stick on the puck for her sixth of the season at 17:54.

Kaitlin Willoughby added an empty net goal for her fifth of the season at 19:36.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Rutherford Rink.