REGINA (from Regina Cougars) – The Regina Cougars were held off the scoresheet in the second game of a Canada West women’s hockey weekend against Manitoba as the visiting Bisons took a 1-0 win at The Co-operators Centre.
Erica Rieder’s first-period marker was the deciding goal on Saturday afternoon, as the Regina product netted her seventh of the Canada West season and the Manitoba defence clamped down for the remainder of the contest.
Rieder got the Bisons on the scoreboard less than five minutes into Saturday’s the action, jumping up into the rush following a Cougar turnover and putting a rebound high over the glove of Morgan Baker. Lauryn Keen picked up her sixth assist of the season on the goal.
Manitoba nearly doubled its lead near the end of the first period following a Mariah McKersie interference penalty, but an incredible pad save by Baker on a rebound kept the Bison lead at one goal after 20 minutes. Baker made another impressive pad save with just over a minute left in the second period as the Bisons had another power play. The Cougars killed off three Manitoba power plays in the second period as the frame passed without any score.
The Cougars generated a number of opportunities in search of the tying goal in the third period, trying numerous times to get bodies in front of Rachel Dyck and send long shots towards the goal. Manitoba’s defenders did a good job of setting up in shooting lanes, blocking multiple Cougar shots in the final 20 minutes.
Regina outshot Manitoba 13-4 in the third period, but any shots that did get through to Dyck were handled by the fifth-year goaltender, as she made 29 saves on the game for her third shutout of the season.
Baker made 25 saves at the opposite end of the rink as the Cougars fall to 6-14-3-1 on the season.
Regina will hit the road next weekend for what will likely decide the fate of its playoff hopes, as the Cougars will visit Calgary for two games with the Dinos. The Cougars and Dinos are currently tied for the sixth and final Canada West playoff spot with 23 points.
The Bisons are in first place at 16-5-2-1. They visit the last-place Lethbridge Pronghorns in a two-game series next weekend.