Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – Coming off a bye week, the Lethbridge Pronghorns used timely scoring and exceptional goaltending from Alicia Anderson to upset the defending U SPORTS and second ranked Alberta Pandas with a 3-1 win.
Anderson turned aside 42 shots and received goals from Tricia Van Vaerenbergh, Kyra Grieg and Alli Borrow. Panda goaltender Dayna Owen made 11 saves in the loss.
The win gives the Pronghorns 10 points on the season with two regulation wins and two overtime wins to go along with five losses. The loss is only the Pandas second regulation loss and their record moves to 4-2-1-2.
"We took advantage of the power play opportunities tonight," said Pronghorn head coach Michelle Janus. "Our goalie made some huge saves at key times in the game to keep us ahead and the momentum in our favor."
After a scoreless opening period, the Pronghorns got on the scoreboard just over two minutes into the second while on a power play. Tricia Van Vaerenbergh's one-timer from the top of the circle squeaked through Pandas goaltender Dayna Owen.
Only 42-seconds later, Lethbridge doubled their lead with Kyra Grieg picking up her first career Canada West goal. Grieg sliced through the Pandas defence to pick up a loose puck and beat Owen low blocker side.
From there, the defending U SPORTS Champion Pandas raised their level for the remainder of the period, earning successful power play chances but as the Pronghorns have done all season, the penalty killers and Pronghorn goaltender Alicia Anderson killed off both penalties. Entering the weekend, the Pronghorns held the top ranked penalty killing, only allowing two power play goals against in the first eight games.
Through 40 minutes of play, the Pandas held a wide edge in shots on goal, outshooting the Pronghorns 30 to 11, including 16 to 4 in the second period.
The third period started as the second ended, with the Pandas pressuring Lethbridge, keeping the puck on Lethbridge's side of the ice for majority of the time, but Pronghorn defenders did an admirable job keeping the Pandas attack to the outside.
After weathering the storm for the first 10 minutes of the third period, the Pronghorns upped their lead to three with their second power play goal of the game. On another one-timer, first-year forward Alli Borrow picked up her third goal of the season.
Looking to climb back into game, the Pandas pulled their goaltender with more than three minutes to play and while they were able to hem the Pronghorns in their own end they could not find the back of the net. Anderson robbed Alexandra Poznikoff with a shoulder save.
Anderson had her shutout bid ruined with 50-seconds remaining. Kennedy Ganser jammed home her second of the season, but that was as close as the Pandas would get.
The Pronghorns and Pandas will wrap up their weekend set tomorrow with an afternoon affair, puck drops at 3:00pm at Nicolas Sheran Arena. The game will also be streamed live onwww.canadawest.tv.