Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON – Sophomore defenseman Cayle Dillon scored the only goal of the game two minutes into double overtime, as the University of Alberta Pandas hockey team earned their sixth-straight win with a 1-0 decision over the Mount Royal Cougars, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Rookie goalie Zoe DeBeauville stopped 34 of the 35 shots she faced in the loss, earning the game's first star honours for her efforts. Fifth-year goalie Lindsey Post made nine saves to earn her fifth shutout of the season.
The Pandas, who have now won those six straight conference games, improve to 12-4-4-3 this season, having earned 47 points in 23 games. The Cougars, meanwhile, needed three points and a Lethbridge loss to qualify for the playoffs, but earned just a lone point and fall to 8-10-1-4.
The Alberta Pandas absolutely dominated the shot chart, possession battle and scoring chance battle throughout Friday night's tilt, eventually outshooting the Cougars 35-9. Alberta and Mount Royal, however, fought themselves more than the opponent in the first, with more missed and blocked shots than shots on target in the opening 20.
The second was much more lopsided, as the Pandas fired nine shots to the Cougars two. DeBeauville showed why she has entered the Rookie of the Year conversation, coming up with number of great saves in the frame, including robbing Amy Boucher late in the second.
The play in the third was even more tilted in favour of the home team, as MRU mustered just one low-percentage shot on Post. DeBeauville, however, was much busier; stopping all 12 third period shots she faced to force extra time. Kennedy Ganser and Autumn MacDougall had the best chances to end the game in regulation, but they were unable to find the twine.
The Pandas were finally able to beat the rookie keeper in double overtime, as Dillon's shot ricocheted off a Cougar defender in front for the game winner.
The two teams will conclude their home-and-home series next weekend, as the Cougars host the Pandas at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.