In the opening weekend of the 2022-23 conference season, the University of Alberta Pandas hockey team faced the Mount Royal University (MRU) Cougars for a home game on Friday, followed by an away game in Calgary on Saturday.
On Friday September 30, the Pandas won with a 3-2 score in double overtime, breaking a three-game loss streak against MRU. However, on Saturday October 1, the game ended with a Pandas loss with 1-4 for the Cougars.
MRU’s Tatum Amy scored the first goal of Friday’s game from the blue line. The second goal came from Panda Abby Soyko, off a pass from Megan Wilson, tying the game 1-1 at the end of the first period.
The second period saw no goals, despite both teams having power plays in the period. However, the Pandas had a close shot from Cassidy Maplethorpe, as she carried the puck in on her forehand, switching to the backhand as Cougars goalie Kaitlyn Ross shoved the puck away.
In the third period, the Pandas scored their second goal of the game on a power play. Madison Willan carried it into the Cougar’s zone, passed to Payton Laumbach, then received the pass back in front of the net. Willan shot a backhand over Ross’ pads before tripping over the Cougars goalie and sliding into the boards.
The period also had good play made by Willan. She stole the puck off of MRU Jori Hansen-Young at the Pandas blue line and shot it into the Cougars end, forcing Ross to come out of the net to push the puck back into neutral territory.
Another close call came as Pandas Jada Livingston caught the breakaway into the Cougars zone before being stopped by Ross in front of the net. The puck eventually reached the blue line for Pandas Jadynn Morden to be shot back into Ross’ chest.
For the final two minutes of play, the Cougars pulled their goalie, allowing them to take a six-person offensive in the Pandas zone. This was a decision that led to the tying goal of the game with 10 seconds remaining. Ava Metzger took the shot on Halle Oswald from the hash marks. Kaia Borbandy tipped the puck behind the Pandas goalie, bringing the score to 2-2.
The game continued into double overtime where Maplethorpe scored ending the game in a Pandas win, 3-2. By the end of the double overtime, the Pandas had 34 shots on net, to the Cougars 24.
In the second game of the weekend, MRU scored first during a Cougars powerplay. Courtney Kollman skated out of the corner towards the red dot, where she scored the Cougars first goal.
The second period ended with another MRU goal. With four minutes remaining, Cougar Emma Bergesen took a slapshot from the point, tucking the puck squarely away in the Pandas net.
The end of the third period saw more action as MRU scored their third goal of the game from a wrap-around shot behind the net by Aliya Johma.
With just over six minutes remaining, Panda Taylor Kezama took the shot from the point, which Laumbach deflected into the Cougars net. A discussion for high sticking disallowed the Panda’s first goal of the game, keeping the score at 3-0.
Following a Pandas timeout, Oswald was pulled from net for the final two-minutes of play. Immediately off the face-off, Bergesen received and shot the puck down ice into an open net. After the play, Bergesen faced a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, but the goal was allowed.
The final and only Pandas goal of the game, came on Pandas powerplay from a slapshot by Kezama at the point. The game ended with a final score of 1-4 for MRU, with the Cougars having 29 shots on net to the Pandas 17.