Cougars fall to defending national champion Manitoba Bisons 4-1

Cougars fall to defending national champion Manitoba Bisons 4-1

Hailey Dirk, Cougars Athletics

CALGARY - Friday, at the Flames Community Arenas the Mount Royal Cougars Women's Hockey team fell to the defending national champion Manitoba Bisons 4-1.

Cougars assistant coach, Brianne Jenner, said the loss came as a result of the slow start.

"We were up against a pretty strong team, and they capitalized on our mistakes. However, we had a much better push in the third period."

The Bisons dominated the game following the puck-drop, constantly buzzing around Zoe De Beauville's net. While the Cougars initially were able to hold their own against the defending champion Bisons, Natasha Kostenko slotted home the first goal of the game for her team.

Manitoba was not done, with just 14 seconds left on the clock, Bisons forward Karissa Kirkup managed to score a second goal for her team before the first intermission.

Entering the second period two goals down, the Cougars had something to prove. However, within minutes, Cougars defencemen Victoria Byer was knocked to the ice and unable to get herself back up. With an apparent twisted knee, Byer was supported off the ice. Continuing a downward spiral, the Cougars found themselves yet another goal behind when Bisons' defenceman Lauren Warkentin's scored on a power-play.

The Cougars, down on their luck, had one last chance to gain some footing against the Bisons. By the time the third period was half finished, the score remained at 3-0 for the Bisons. That was until Nicolette Seper finally got the Cougars on the board.

With the clock ticking down the Cougars would hit the crossbar before Manitoba tapped the puck into an empty net and the game would finish 4-1.

The Booster Juice Players of the Game were Nicolette Seper from the Cougars and Natasha Kostenko from the Bisons. The rematch will be tomorrow at 3 PM Mountain time.