Bison women move on to the CanWest playoffs

Women’s team maintains its playoff spot while men end the season on a low note

Both the Bisons women’s and men’s hockey teams played against the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Huskies this past weekend in a two-game series.

Women’s team

The University of Manitoba women’s hockey team played hard against the Huskies this past weekend, but still struggled.

In the first period of Friday’s game, the U of M and the U of S looked evenly matched.

Nonetheless, despite the even draw, the Huskies’ defensive performance really shone through. The first period concluded with the scoreboard reading 0-0 for both the Huskies and Bisons.

Just under five minutes into the second period, the Bisons capitalized on an offensive chance via some smooth skating, which allowed Kate Gregoire to slip a goal past the Huskies’ netminder, breaking the deadlock.

It stood as the only goal of the second, allowing the herd to pull away from the Huskies 1-0.

However, the Huskies really shifted it into high gear in the third, scoring three goals consecutively, including an empty netter.

Ultimately, the herd lost the first game 3-1 to the U of S because of its poor play in the back half, as it allowed the Huskies to score three unanswered goals.

The second game kicked off with Seniors Night. The herd honoured a number of players, including forwards Samantha Sichkaruk, Gregoire, Molly Kunnas and Sarah Dennehy, defenceman Kaitlyn Chatyrbok, and goalie Meagan Relf.

The first period started off with a Gregoire power-play goal. She slid the puck in with barely any time left on the Bisons’ power play.

Dana Goertzen scored the second goal of the game on a breakaway, giving the Bisons a 2-0 lead.

The herd’s early scoring did not discourage the Huskies, however, who also scored twice in the first, levelling the score 2-2.

In the second period, the Huskies capitalized on an unguarded puck when goalie Megan Relf left it to be scooped up by a teammate on the power play. The shorthanded blunder gave the U of S a 3-2 lead. It stood as the only goal of the second.

Kara Kondrat of Saskatchewan then added to the Huskies’ lead, scoring on a power-play goal in the third to give the Huskies a 4-2 lead.

Jena Barscello of the Bisons answered back, however, scoring on a close-range shot, making the score 4-3.

Ultimately, the Bisons’ comeback fell short in the third, as the Huskies added one more goal, making it 5-3.

This season, senior Gregoire led the herd in scoring with six goals, 12 assists and 18 points.

The Bisons finished the season with a record of 10 wins and 18 losses.

Despite these two losses to close the year, the Bisons still clinched the final CanWest playoff spot. As the sixth seed, the Bisons will face off against third-ranked Mount Royal University (MRU) Cougars in the first round of the CanWest playoffs this upcoming weekend.

Men’s team
The first game was a hard one for the herd right from the beginning.

The Huskies scored the first two goals of the game, showcasing the team’s offensive strength.

The herd, however, answered back very late in the first — indeed, just one second from the end of the period — as Jackson
Arpin managed to net one on a breakaway.

Thus, the first period concluded with a 2-1 scoreline in favour of the Huskies.

The second period was a bloodbath for the U of M, as the Huskies scored four times. The Bisons struggled offensively and defensively, but especially defensively.

The Bisons did manage to score once in the second, though. Jonny Hooker scored unassisted for the herd’s second goal of the game.
Nonetheless, the second ended 6-2 with U of S leading.

Ultimately, the third period was no better for the U of M, as it scored zero goals but allowed the Huskies to score two more times.
The final score was a grisly 8-2 in favour of the Huskies.

The first period of the second game got off to a rough start for the herd, as the Huskies got the first two goals of the game.
The first period ended with the Huskies leading the Bisons 2-0.

In the second period, it seemed as if a comeback might be in the cards for the herd, as Josh Paulhus scored the first goal of the game off assists from Ryan Gottfried and Evan Toth.

The Huskies also scored once in the second, but its goal was quickly answered back by Josh Paulhus again, who hammered in a goal to make the score at the end of the second 3-2, with the Huskies leading.

The third period was the herd’s downfall. In making the decision to pull its goalie two minutes out from the end of the period, it allowed the Huskies to score an empty netter. U of S went on to add another one. The final score of the game was 5-2.

The team finished with a miserly record of 5 and 23.

It will look to rebuild and improve as it heads into the off-season early, missing the playoffs.

The Bisons women’s team will play a best two out of three series against MRU this weekend, with game one set for Feb. 16, game two for Feb. 17 and, if required, game three for Feb. 18.