Kish Earns Shutout as Cougars Blank Wildcats

Congratulations to several Education students who played in Sweden on Thursday, August 20 and are mentioned in this story. Reposted from Regina Cougars Hockey News
SUNDSVALL, Sweden – The University of Regina women’s hockey team was clicking all night long, as the Cougars cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Sundsvall Wildcats on Thursday night at Sundsvall Energi Arena.

Meghan Sherven, Bailey Braden and Nikki Watters-Matthes each had multi-point nights for the Cougars, as Sherven and Braden each collected a goal and an assist and Watters-Matthes notched two helpers. Kelly Regnier and Alexis Larson also scored in the win.

Jane Kish (pictured) wasn’t tested often in net, but looked comfortable when she was, stopping all 19 shots that she faced. Kish set the tone early, making a big save on a breakaway by the Wildcats in the first and controlling rebounds the entire game.

“I was feeling a little nervous in the first period but making the save on that breakaway really helped me settle in,” Kish said after the game. “The defence communicated well and made my job really easy tonight. We came prepared for the game and worked hard and it turned into a lot of positives for us.”

The Cougars played with an impressive pace from the start, dominating the time of possession and putting continuous pressure on opposing netminders Anna Engstrom and Jonna Kagstrom. Regina was relentless on the attack, registering 62 shots on net for the evening.

The Cougars went to the powerplay eight minutes into the first period after a tripping penalty by Anna Wassdahl. Kylie Gavelin put a couple of shots on net and the Cougars kept the puck in Sundsvall’s end for the duration of the powerplay, but failed to capitalize.

Regina finally cracked Engstrom just 22 seconds after the powerplay ended, as Larson fired a shot from the point that tipped off the post and in for the game’s first goal. Watters-Matthes and Braden assisted on the marker following a solid display of puck movement by the powerplay unit.

The Cougars went back to the powerplay later in the period but Sundsvall’s penalty kill was much more aggressive the second time around. The Wildcats successfully killed the penalty and the first period ended with the visitors leading 1-0.

The crisp passing that the Cougars displayed in the first carried into the second period, and it paid off with two minutes and 45 seconds gone. Regnier, on her 20th birthday, was the beneficiary of an impressive display of passing by the Cougars. The puck was worked around from Carleen Meszaros and Jolene Kirkpatrick on the point to Sherven, who found Michaela Esposito all alone in front. Esposito slipped the puck across the crease to Regnier who made no mistake and bumped the lead to 2-0.

The lead was extended to 3-0 with 6:56 left in the middle frame, as Sherven picked up her second point of the evening. Sherven took a feed from Watters-Matthes and went scorching down the left wing, putting a low shot on net. The rebound sat free in the crease just long enough for Sherven to tap it past goaltender Kagstrom who had subbed in just a few minutes prior.

“Our line really started to click today, and we got the bounces that we needed,” Sherven said of herself, Regnier and Esposito. “The whole team took advantage of the larger ice size by moving our feet and keeping the puck moving. We used our size, kept our heads up and made the defence work, and it paid off for us.”

The third period saw the Cougars pick up right where they left off, as an end-to-end rush by Kirkpatrick resulted in Emma Waldenberger controlling the puck deep in the corner. Waldenberger centred the puck and Braden was there, slapping a quick shot through the five-hole of Kagstrom to make it 4-0.

Kish made a few more saves late in the third to preserve the shutout, and does not hesitate to give credit Toni Ross when asked about her strong play.

“Toni and I played together in 2011 with the Weyburn Gold Wings, and she’s always had a great influence on me,” Kish said of her current teammate. “Whenever I have questions she’s been there to answer them and has been an excellent role model for me on and off the ice.”

The Cougars will make their way to Stockholm on Friday morning, and prepare for the game against AIK IF on Saturday evening.

“We’ve really grown together as a team,” Sherven said of the last seven days. “We’ve had a good positive atmosphere and have gained mental toughness, and it’s important that we carry this momentum and work ethic into the Canada West season.”

Follow us on social media