SASKATOON, S.K. – The University of Alberta Golden Bears scored a trio of goals in the first period and then held on for a tight 3-2 victory over the Carleton Ravens during the opening game of the 2014 University Cup, Thursday afternoon at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.
CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mice/index
The No.1 seeded Bears got goals from third-year blueliner Jordan Rowley, freshman forward T.J. Foster and third-year forward Travis Toomey. Goaltender Kurtis Mucha stopped 15 shots to earn the win.
Alberta (1-0) will now face the No.5 seed McGill Redmen on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. MT live on Sportsnet 360.
After starting the game with a 2-0 lead early in the first, the Bears were in danger of going to overtime against the Ravens, a program that was making its University Cup debut. Carleton made it a one goal game with 2:39 left in the third period, and even had a chance to tie it on the power play with under a minute to go, but were shut down by the Alberta special teams.
“We found out last year that this game, Thursday, is the hardest game.” said Alberta head coach Ian Herbers. “Last year we didn’t capitalize [on our chances], I like that we came out and scored right away and got the momentum.”
Rowley, the Canada West defenceman of the year, opened the scoring on Thursday when he raced in from the blue line and tipped Brett Ferguson’s centering pass by Carleton goalie Francis Dupuis at 1:29.
Just over six minutes later the Bears increased their lead to 2-0 thanks to a power-play goal from TJ Foster. The former Edmonton Oil King was left all alone in the middle of the ice in the Carleton end and took Ferguson’s centering pass, froze Dupuis and then beat the goaltender to the stick side.
Carleton cut the Golden Bears lead in half on a Joe Pleckaitis power play tally with just over five minutes remaining in the opening stanza. After cycling the puck in Alberta’s end, Pleckaitis beat Mucha with a seeing-eye wrist shot through a screen.
Travis Toomey picked up the eventual game winner just a few minutes later when he buried Drew Nichol’s pass after Kruise Reddick did some good work to keep the puck in the zone and get it towards goal.
After a scoreless second period, Damien Cross gave the Ravens hope late in the third period. Carleton entered the zone quickly, Cross fed a streaking Plecktaitis, whose shot beat Mucha but rang off both posts before Cross batted the puck into the open net. The Ravens then nearly tied the game on a late power play shot from Matthew Stanisz but Mucha found the puck through a screen and made the save.
GAME NOTES: This was the first meeting between the Golden Bears and Ravens ever…Kurtis Mucha earned his first career University Cup win…Jordan Rowley missed two of Alberta’s games last year at the University Cup due to illness…Kruise Reddick made his return to the Bears line-up after suffering an injury in January
Alberta 3, Carleton 2
1. ALB Jordan Rowley (1) (Ferguson), 1:29
2. ALB TJ Foster (1) (Ferguson), PP 6:31
3. CAR Joe Pleckaitis (1) (Billingsley, McNamee) PP 14:40
4. ALB Travis Toomey (1) (Drew Nichol, Kruise Reddick) 16:49
5. CAR Damien Cross (1) (Pleckaitis) 17:21
GOALS (by period)
ALB: 3-0-0: 3
CAR: 1-0-1: 2
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
ALB: 16-15-10: 41
CAR: 8-2-7: 17
ALB – Kurtis Mucha (W, 1-0, 17 shots, 15 saves, 2 GA, 60:00)
CAR – Francis Dupuis (L, 0-1, 41 shots, 38 saves, 3 GA, 59:14)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
ALB: TJ Foster
CAR: Francis Dupuis
START: 1:00 p.m.
END: 3:17 p.m.
POOL STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS (LOCAL TIME)
Pool A standings (after 1 of 3 games)
GP W L GF GA PTS
1. ALB 1 1 0 3 2 2
2. McG 0 0 0 0 0 0
3. CAR 1 0 1 2 3 0
Pool B standings
1. ACA 0 0 0 0 0 0
1. WSR 0 0 0 0 0 0
1. SSK 0 0 0 0 0 0
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (all times LOCAL TIME)
Thursday, March 20
Pool A #1: No. 1 Alberta 3 vs. No. 6 Carleton 2
19:00 Pool B #1: No. 2 Acadia vs. No. 3 Windsor (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Friday, March 21
13:00 Pool A #2: Carleton vs. No. 4 McGill (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
19:00 Pool B #2: Loser Pool B #1 vs. No. 5 Saskatchewan (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Saturday, March 22
14:00 Pool A #3: Alberta vs. No. 4 McGill (Sportsnet 360 & www.CIS-SIC.tv)
19:00 Pool B #3: Winner Pool B #1 vs. No. 5 Saskatchewan (Sportsnet 360 & www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Sunday, March 23
13:30 Final (Sportsnet & www.CIS-SIC.tv)
* The webcasts of the 3 televised games will be on pay-per-view basis.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
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