EDMONTON – Team captain Sean Ringrose had a career-high four goals as the No.2 University of Alberta Golden Bears beat the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns by a 13-0 score, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.
The Edmonton native, who didn’t meet his career high in points, a six-point effort against the Pronghorns back on November 13, 2009, was matched on the scoresheet by third-year forward Levko Koper, notching four points in the form of a goal and three assists. Ten other Bears had multi-point games, Brett Ferguson potting a pair of goals while Kruise Reddick, Jarrett Toll, Jordan Hickmott, Travis Toomey, Colin Joe, and Jamie Crooks added singles.
In their last five weekends, the Pronghorns have now allowed 46 goals in their first game of a two-game series, or an average of 9.2, yet they have only allowed a total of eight in their second game, an average of 2.0, so it remains to be seen what will happen in the rematch on Saturday night.
The Alberta win, combined with a Calgary loss to Saskatchewan on Friday, got the 20-2-1 Bears to within one point of the conference-leading 20-1-2 Dinos. Lethbridge, mathematically eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, drops to 2-18-3 on the season.
Alberta got on the board early, scoring on their second shot of the game when Koper redirected a Jordan Hickmott pass in the slot at the 1:22 mark of the opening frame.
At the 10:36 mark, Ferguson found another gear as he burst in on sophomore netminder Damien Ketlo, throwing a wrister at the former Lethbridge Hurricane’s shoulder, the puck popping up and over into the net for the 2-0 lead.
Under two minutes later, Ringrose got his first of the game when he grabbed the rebound off a Jordan Rowley slapper from the point, pulling the puck around the goalie and into the empty cage on the power-play.
It was Reddick who opened the flood gates, though, roofing his 10th of the season off a sharp-angle rebound at the bottom of the faceoff circle 14:37 into the first period.
Eight seconds later, senior forward Torrie Dyck extended his scoring streak to nine games when he found Ringrose in front for a top shelf tip-in, chasing Ketlo from the Pronghorn net in exchange for third-year puckstopper Dylan Tait.
The Lethbridge, Alta. native met the offensive onslaught quickly with 4:06 left to go in the first when sophomore rearguard Jarrett Toll deked out a Pronghorn defender at the point before walking in on goal and finessing a backhand deke for his first of the season.
Hickmott got his 11th on the year when Koper’s initial shot got blocked in the slot, ricocheting straight to Hickmott who deposited the puck into the yawning cage.
On a late penalty kill, Ferguson made it eight in opening frame, getting a breakaway from the Alberta blueline before getting stopped on his first shot but having no problem potting the rebound.
Toomey and Joe got the Bears to crack the double-digit barrier in the first half of the second period before Ringrose completed the hat trick at the 10:37 mark when Tait got a piece of the former Medicine Hat Tiger’s wrister but not enough.
Jamie Crooks earned his 10th early in the final frame to bring Ketlo back into the net but the Fort Fraser, B.C. native got burned one more time on an Alberta man-advantage, Ringrose netting his fourth and final goal by batting in a lose rebound in front. The former Canada West All-Star extended his current point streak to nine games and is the hottest Golden Bear as of late with six goals and 14 points in seven games in January.
Alberta finished 4-8 on the power-play while the Pronghorns went 0-3.
Game two of the weekend series goes Saturday, puck drop at 6:00 p.m. MT.
Game notes: Alberta's 8 goals in the 1st period of Friday's (January 31) 13-0 win versus Lethbridge is not a team or Canada West Hockey record…The Golden Bears record for most goals scored in a period is 10, a feat Alberta has accomplished four times, all within the years 1940 – 1958… The Canada West Hockey record for most goals scored in a period is 12, established by the University of Calgary Dinosaurs in the second period of a 24-1 win versus the Victoria Vikings on February 11, 1972. The 24 goals scored by Calgary is the conference record for most goals scored in a game.