Tanner Michalenko, Saskatchewan Sports Information Student Assistant
SASKATOON – In her first Canada West playoff game, University of Saskatchewan goaltender Jessica Vance stopped all 22 shots to lead the Huskies to a 2-0 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds in Game 1 of a Canada West semifinal series.
It was the 10th shutout in 2017-18 for Vance. The second-year goalie from Prince Albert, Sask., set a record for most shutouts in a single-season with nine in the regular season. She made five saves in the first, 11 in the second and another six in the final period.
With the win, the Huskies take the 1-0 series lead against the No. 5 Thunderbirds in the best-of-three semi-final.
Brooklyn Haubrich opened the scoring 14:38 into the first period for Saskatchewan. Emily Upgang sent the puck into the UBC zone, where Kennedy Harris was able to swing it back to Upgang behind the net. Upgang found a wide-open Haubrich in the slot to send a quick-release over the glove of Thunderbirds goalie Tory Micklash.
The Huskies added an insurance goal at 10:06 in the third. Kira Bannatyne picked up a loose puck on the Huskie blue line and skated through the neutral zone before letting a wrist shot go from just inside the UBC zone, sneaking past the right pad of Micklash.
UBC would pull their goalie on a power-play with more than 5:00 remaining in the third, however, they failed to get one by Vance on the two-man advantage.
Micklash stopped 30-of-32 Saskatchewan shots in the game.
Neither team could capitalize on power-plays, UBC went 0-of-4 while the Huskies came up empty on two opportunities.
Puck drop for Game 2 is 1:30 p.m. Saturday, while Game 3, if need, is slated for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.