Cougars face hard weekend against Bisons
author: nathan mccarville | sports writer
Green and gold ice / nathan mccarville
Women’s hockey suffers back–to–back losses
The University of Regina women’s hockey team started their season off with a bang, as they ploughed through their competition in a bid to get to the upper echelon of Canada West.
The pre-season itself showed the Cougars to be as ready as ever for the regular season, coming away from the Bisons Preseason Invitational with two wins and a single loss, beating team Manitoba U18 3-2 on Sep. 21, and beating Team Saskatchewan U18 3-1 on the 23rd of the month. Although, the Cougars weren’t able to beat their hosts, the Manitoba Bisons, who won 4-2 against the Cougars, taking home the title for their Invitational.
The Great Lakes Challenge produced better results for the Cougars who travelled to Kincardine, Ontario for games against the York University Lions. Winning that particular face-off 2-1 for the hometown cats, on Sep. 28. The next day, the Cougars played the University of Brock, winning 4-3 against the Badgers in this high-scoring game against the Ontario team. Finally, the team played against one of their fellow Canada West contenders, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, to see if they were actually ready for the competition that Western Canada could provide. The Cougars dominated their final preseason game against the Pronghorns, scoring three goals with little opposition on part of the Albertan team, who only scored a single goal.
Coming hot out of the gates with five pre-season wins under their belt and a single loss, the Cougars faced off against the Mount Royal Cougars for their first regular season game. Luckily, the Cougars pulled out a win, coming out of the game with a result of 3-2 in favour of the Regina Cougars, with goals from Shaelyn Vallotton, Emma Waldenberger, and Jaycee Magwood. Though the next game didn’t go in the favour of the Cougars, as much as spectators would have liked. Reversing the results, the MRU cougars came out of the game with three goals to the Regina’s two goals.
The weekend against Lethbridge gave the Cougars much better results, winning their first game against the Pronghorns 2-0, the Cougars goalie offering a shutout to the Pronghorns.
The Cougars won the subsequent game with a surprisingly close result of 4-3 for the Cougars. The two games saw a goal in each game from Jordan Kulbida, with similar results from Nikki Watters-Matthes, who scored twice in the second game, a puck in the goal from Chelsea Hallson, as well as one goal from Martina Maskova of the Czech Republic.
Finally bringing us to this past weekend, the Cougars played two games against the Manitoba Bisons, a team that the Cougars had previously been unable to beat. The Cougars unhappily lost their first game against the Bisons with little contest. The Cougars lead the score for nearly two periods after Tamara McVannel’s early goal against the Bisons. Though, with a score of 1-0 in favour of the Cougars for most of the game, the Bisons finally began playing, starting with Erica Rieder’s first goal with 12 seconds left in the second, which spelt the end of the game for the Cougars. Bisons Madison Cole, Natasha Kostenko, and Karissa Kirkup all scored throughout the third, giving the Bisons a healthy margin to win the game, after only Adela Juzkova was able to score for the cougars late in the third after the initial goal in the first.
Despite the loss on the previous day, the Cougars put up a fight in the following game against the Manitoba Bisons. The Bisons were the first ones to score during the second game of this weekend at the tip of Sheridan Oswald’s hockey stick. Though it was Jordan Kulbida’s goal two-thirds of the way through the first period that seemed to change the tone of the game.
The Cougars adopted a more aggressive play style throughout the remained of the first period, as well as into the second, after they tied off the game with the Bisons who could control the puck with an accuracy that would be hard to match. The second period saw the Cougars get ahead of the Bisons with an unassisted goal from Jaycee Magwood that finally put the Cougars ahead of the Bisons. Though a late goal in the second had the Bisons match the Cougars score, putting the score to 2-2 after Lauryn Keen found a hole between the goalie pads and the posts. Though, regular scorer Emma Waldenberger scored early in the third period putting the Cougars a goal ahead of the visiting Bisons.
The Cougars tried to keep the puck out of Bisons’ possession for the majority of the period as they tried to manoeuvre the puck into the opposing goal. The strategy was working, until one of the brief moments that the Bisons had the puck, this proving to be the downfall of the lead that the Cougars had garnered throughout the period with the final regular time goal of the game scored by Bison Karissa Kirkup.
After six minutes of the Cougars playing as hard as they could, they couldn’t realize their objective of getting a fourth goal in the game, and so the game went into overtime in order to dictate who the definitive winner of the game. The intensity of the first overtime period fed off of the intensity of the last period of the regular game. The game went into another overtime period of five minutes, and then finally, when the results could not be determined after these measures, the game went into a shootout that decided the game. The shootout was looking good for both sides in a tense exchange to determine the winner, until Regina’s last shot on goal, where Cougar Emily Middagh’s shot was blocked by Bison’s goalie Lauren Taraschuk in the final moments on the ice, and the last shot of the shoot out.
The University of Saskatchewan Huskies will be the next opponents who will be coming to Regina’s Co-operators Center to face the Regina Cougars on Oct. 26, and then host the Cougars at their home rink in Saskatoon the following day.