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Head coach Jon Rempel had four goals for his hockey team this season.

Finish first, qualify for Nationals, win Canada West and win a National Championship.

The University of Manitoba completed the fourth and final goal this past Sunday when the Bisons defeated the Western Mustangs 2-0 in the U SPORTS women’s hockey championship game in London, Ontario.

“It’s an unreal feeling,” said U of M defenseman and Morden native Megan Neduzak shortly after the team’s flight arrived in Winnipeg Monday afternoon. “I’m still in shock but still so proud of every single one of us.”

The Bisons, who were the number one seed this past weekend, made five previous appearances at the Nationals and won three bronze medals.

This time the Herd brought home gold.

"We just stuck with it and didn't get discouraged or frustrated"

“We knew that if we played our game we had a pretty good chance of winning so we stuck to our game, stayed positive and got the job done,” added Crystal City’s Jenai Buchanan who along with Neduzak were into their second season on the U of M blueline.

Manitoba blanked Queens 4-0 in the quarterfinals and then edged the Concordia Stingers 2-1 in a shootout in the semifinals.

Lauryn Keen and Venla Hovi did the goal scoring for the Bisons in the gold medal game against Western and goaltender Lauren Taraschuk made 20 saves in recording the shutout.

Keen got the Bisons on the board as she beat Mustangs goaltender Carmen Lasis late in the second period.

The Manitou product potted a power play goal with 1:44 remaining in the middle frame.

neduzak keen buchanon mar19U SPORTS champions Megan Neduzak, Lauryn Keen & Jenai Buchanan (Brad Neduzak)“We had a lot of chances in the first period and even the second,” said Keen. “Their goalie was standing on her head. We just stuck with it and didn't get discouraged or frustrated and then we finally got one.”

Keen, who won an Esso Cup National AAA Female Midget Hockey Championship with the Pembina Valley Hawks in 2012, was named the Tournament MVP.

“It was super humbling,” said Keen. “I wasn’t expecting that. It was such an honour to be named that. Winning a National Championship would have been enough for me but being named that on top of it was icing on the cake.”

As for the reception the National Champion Bisons received at the airport when together as a team they walked down the stairs with the Championship Banner, Championship Trophy and a lot of gold medals.

“Pretty unreal,” Keen said. “Coming home to a crowd like this and having everyone behind us is pretty unbelievable.”

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