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Cougars women’s hockey recap

Taryn Riemer

The Cougars women’s hockey team was back in action last weekend for a pair of home games against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

“We were doing well getting the puck out and moving our feet to get out of our zone,” said Hilary Lerat, who also said the girls feel really good going into the Christmas break.

“We had our goal of being 12-4-0 going into the Christmas break and we knew we had to sweep the last two weekends to do that. Everyone stepped up to find a win.”

Friday, Nov. 30th saw the girls in a fast-paced game with a lot of action on both sides of the ice.

The first period was full of high energy, but saw a struggle from both teams to score.

The lack However, UBC player Kelsey Halvorson took a penalty with six minutes left in the first, and that was all Regina needed to get ahead.

First-year forward Kylie Gavelin scored on the power play, and second-year defenceman Carleen Meszaros was awarded an assist on the goal.

Starting off the second period with a 1-0 advantage, Regina was given another power play and another scoring opportunity.

A minute and a half into the power play, third-year defenceman Laura Olsen found the back of the net with a shot from the top of the circle. And just five minutes later, UBC got another penalty and Regina was back on the power play.

“We had our goal of being 12-4-0 going into the Christmas break and we knew we had to sweep the last two weekends to do that. Everyone stepped up to find a win.” – Hilary Lerat

The defence took over this power play as rookie defenceman Alexis Larson scored the third goal with an assist by Olsen.

With five minutes left in the second period Regina hit a rough patch with penalties and received three in the next minute and a half.

Regina was on a five-on-three penalty kill for a full minute, but the Cougars battled through and killed the remaining penalties off.

In the last minutes of play before second intermission, the Cougars kept up the intensity with two breakaway chances to finish the period off.

Carrying a three-goal advantage into the final period, the Cougars began with a four on three for the first thirty seconds.

This period saw a lot of end to end play between the two teams. Unfortunately, UBC was finally able to break Cougars second-year goaltender Toni Ross’s shot at a shutout eleven and a half minutes into the final frame.

The goal was scored by Thunderbirds third-year defenceman Nikola Brown-John and assisted by second-year forward Rebecca Unrau.

The fast pace play was kept up for the rest of the period. Just after seventeen minutes of play, UBC Coach Graham Thomas called a time out. UBC pulled their goalie for a six-on-four chance and remained on the bench for the rest of the period. However, UBC could not get past Ross in the last three minutes of play and Regina came away with a 3-1 win.          

Saturday, Dec. 1, the Regina Cougars stepped up their game and dominated most of their second consecutive bout with the Thunderbirds.

The girls started out the game a little slow, but when UBC got a penalty eight minutes in, Regina retaliated.

Fifth-year forward Paige Wheeler scored the Cougars first goal on the power play with assists by fellow fifth-year forward Rianne Wight and Gavelin.

Regina did not let up the pressure after their opening goal as fourth-year forward Kendra Finch scored four minutes later.

Keeping with the trend, Finch scored another goal after four more minutes of play with assists by second-year forward Brooklyn Moskowy and Meszaros.

The start of the second period saw the girls scoring just over a minute into the period. Moskowy got the quick fourth goal with assists by Finch and second year forward Stephanie Sawchuk.

The rest of the period was relatively calm until Regina took a penalty with three minutes left that led to UBC getting their first goal.

Fifth-year Thunderbirds forward Kaitlin Imai got the puck past Regina’s second-year goalie Jennifer Schmidt to break her bid at a shut out.

The third period brought the girls back to playing at their usual high level.

Five minutes into the period, third-year defenceman Triston Riemer took a shot that found the back mesh with assists from Wight and fourth-year forward Katelyn Kennedy.

The remainder of the period saw the girls kill three more penalties to finally win the game 5-1. 

With the weekend sweep, the Cougars concluded 2012. Their next home game is slated for Jan. 11 when Hayley Wickenheiser and the rest of the Calgary Dinos are in town for a battle of the top two teams in Canada West.

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