The University of Manitoba Bisons women’s team rallied against the MacEwan University Griffins after two devastating losses against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds last weekend.
The herd bounced back against the Griffins and showed dramatically improved team collaboration and great defensive work during Friday night’s game, picking up the first win of the season while defending home ice at the Wayne Fleming Arena. When the Griffins took their foot off the gas, the herd put the pedal to the metal.
The Bisons took their first penalty 46 seconds into the game, setting a physical precedent.
The game’s first goal was scored by Makenna Schuttler from MacEwan, who capitalized on the Griffins’ power play before Allee Isley put MacEwan up by two goals.The Bisons counterattacked, surrounding the Griffins in their zone. Taking advantage of the previous puck battle won by Bison Glory Plett, Bison Rachel Gottfried scored the first point of the game for the U of M before the first intermission.
The herd’s momentum carried into the second frame, with Camille Enns firing an otherworldly wrist shot on net to score her first point of the season and the second goal for Manitoba.
The Bisons dominated the rest of the game, cleaning up with a 6-3 win over the Griffins.
The winning streak carried over into Saturday’s game against MacEwan, but not without a challenge.
Although the first Bisons point of the game was scored 28 seconds in by Kylie Lesuk, the celebration was short-lived, with the Griffins scoring their first power-play goal of the game later in the frame.
The Griffins went into the first intermission blazing, netting two points in the first period and leading Manitoba 2-1.
The Bisons quickly bounced back, tightening up defence in their own zone and playing the second period with a mission.
The herd scored three goals in the second, beginning with Katie Gregoire’s goal 52 seconds in on a breakaway that tied the game 2-2.
Two minutes later the Bisons found themselves on the power play, allowing Sarah Dennehy to score the Bison’s third goal of the game and the Bisons to pull ahead of the Griffins. The Bisons lead was further cemented after Ashley Keller made the game 4-2 for Manitoba. Despite a late MacEwan goal in the third, the Bisons held on against the Griffins, narrowly beating them 4-3.
Across the Prairies, the Bison men’s team was hosted by MacEwan in a rough weekend series on Edmonton’s ice.
The Griffins monopolized the puck the entire first game from start to finish, staying tight on defence and constantly putting offensive pressure on the herd — MacEwan’s Ethan Strang recording the first-ever Griffins hat trick in a CanWest hockey game.
Although the Bisons experienced a devastating loss, goaltender Kolby Thornton made 23 saves in net.
The Bisons did attempt to fight back in the second frame, outshooting MacEwan 15-9, but could only sit and watch as the Griffins continued to outscore and outmaneuver them.
The herd just could not get going in the game, losing 5-0.
Saturday night’s game kicked off with the Bisons looking for redemption after the five-point shutout loss.
The first goal of the game was scored by Bison captain Jonny Hooker late in the first period before the Griffins punched back with a goal of their own.
The Bisons hit back before the buzzer, going into first intermission 2-1 over MacEwan.
The herd looked confident going into the second frame, but were outshot by MacEwan, who were hungry for another win.
While Manitoba failed to score throughout the second and third periods, the Griffins were consistent and steady, scoring in both and tightening up their lines.
The men’s team ultimately lost Saturday’s game to MacEwan 4-2 and remains in search of its first win of the season.
Both the men’s and women’s teams face off against the Mount Royal University Cougars this weekend, with the men playing at home and the women on the road.