It was a face-off against two bitter rivals at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Arena on Saturday afternoon. Following a 2-1 win on Friday night, the women's hockey team was looking to extend their winning streak, but were stopped short by the Manitoba Bisons in a crushing 4-1 loss.
The ‘Birds were hit with a full on charge from the Bisons right from the start. The Bisons, whose star-studded roster included returning CIS Rookie of the Year Alanna Sharman and Finnish Olympian Venia Hovi, gave no opportunities away as they continued their impressive offense.
The ‘Birds held off as much as they could but during a 1-for-3 power play in the sixth minute, Bison Erica Reider managed to shove the puck past T-Bird goalie Samantha Langford to open scoring.
Less than four minutes later, the Bisons followed up when Nicole Carswell scored off of a pass from Jayden Skoleski and Tasmine Hemmingway.
In the second period, the Bisons continued their relentless offence. Just two minutes into the frame, Bison Alana Serhan made her second assist of the game to Celine Caron to bring the score up to 3-0.
But the ‘Birds fought back valiantly and, a minute later, Kathleen Cahoon broke the shut-out bid for Bison goalie Rachel Dyck off of an assist from ‘Bird Katie Zinn.
However, their efforts weren’t enough and, in the seventh minute, returning Sharman finalized the score with a shorthanded goal to make the score 4-1. The ‘Birds made a huge push in the last period, but just weren’t able to even out the score.
The split from this weekend places the ‘Birds in third place in the Canada West standings with their conference record at 5-3-0. Last year, the Bisons dashed hopes of the ‘Birds making playoff finals in a tense best-of-three weekend.
Next up, the ‘Birds will hit the road again on a trip to Saskatchewan to face off the Regina Cougars. Then they will take a quick break before playing against the Saskatchewan Huskies in their next home game on November 13.