Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY- The Mount Royal Cougars are flaming hot to start off 2018 and have made program history Saturday night at the Flames Community Arenas.
The Cougars completed a back-to-back sweep for the first time since the 2013/2014 season, sweeping a home-and-home against the Lethbridge Pronghorns with the score of 2-1, while also picking up their fifth consecutive win for the first time since joining U-SPORTS. Second-year Nicolette Seper carried her team to a 2-0 lead heading into the first break thanks to a double 2:10 apart.
Seper stated post-game, "It feels really good and we're really excited to be in a playoff spot right now. We just want to keep rolling, have a good practise week heading into U of M."
In the first at 13:46, a Reanna Arnold point shot bounced right in the wheelhouse of Seper who slapped the rebound into the back of net. A shift later carrying the same momentum, she picked up the puck from the boards behind the net. She then walked out and snuck the puck through the wickets of Pronghorn net-minder Jessica Lohues for her fourth and fifth goals on the season. Louhes made 29 stops on the night.
The second period had both teams test one another but played to a deadlock until the visiting Pronghorns cut the Cougar lead in half late in the frame. Alli Borrow jumped on a rebound of her own, picking up the loose puck from one end of the net and wrapped the puck to the top of the blue-paint past a sprawled De Beauville at 17:50. MRU's De Beauville stopped 30 pucks on route to her seventh win of the season.
Lethbridge started the third period on the front-foot despite having their power play killed off by MRU's top ranked penalty-kill. De Beauville was forced to be sharp all night but the most important save of the night was a split-save on a Pronghorn rebound deep in her crease to keep her Cougar side ahead, dropping jaws all around the building. Lethbridge pressed hard in the latter half of the third period, but MRU held on to pick up the win and leapfrog into fifth place in Canada West.
Seper also stated after the game, "There's some pressure on us for sure, we want to keep our win streak alive so we're going to try and practise hard and hope that translates into the weekend."
MRU is set to travel east and challenge the #1 ranked team in the nation Manitoba Bison next weekend in Winnipeg while Lethbridge hosts second placed UBC at home.