EDMONTON - Two third period goals were enough to lift the University of Alberta Pandas to a 3-1 win over the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Ashley Morin and Autumn MacDougall scored in the third, to go along with Cayle Dillon's marker in the second period, as the Pandas earned their seventh win of 2017-18 (5-2-2-2). Kori Herner scored the only Saskatchewan goal, as the Huskies, who came into the weekend as the top team in Canada West, suffered just their fourth loss of the conference season, falling to 7-3-0-1.
While the Huskies owned the top spot in the conference, the Pandas entered the weekend with the No. 1 ranking in U SPORTS, and showed why on Friday night. Alberta controlled the pace of play from early in the first period, eventually outshooting Saskatchewan 9-4 in the opening frame. Huskie starter Jessica Vance stopped all nine shots she faced in the opening 20, keeping the one-sided game level at 0-0.
Dillon finally broke the game open for the Pandas midway through the second. With the shots heavily favouring the Pandas (20-6), the Alberta captain finally squeezed a shot through Vance, who let Dillon's point-shot sneak through her arm.
Alberta doubled their lead early in the second, as Morin netted her third of the season off a fantastic feed from her sister Deanna. Deanna's pass found a wide-open Ashley on the door step, who beat a helpless Vance on the far post. It took Saskatchewan just 29 seconds to respond, however, as Herner took advantage of a poor rebound kicked out by Panda goalie Kirsten Chamberlain. Danielle Nogier's point shot was kicked out into the slot, as Herner pounced on the loose puck, before ripping in her second of the season.
That would be as close as Saskatchewan would come, as MacDougall sealed the Alberta win with a nice individual effort from in tight, scoring her third of the season in the final five minutes.
The Pandas will aim for the series sweep tomorrow night, as they host the Huskies at 2:00 p.m. at Clare Drake Arena, and live on Canada West TV.