CALGARY – Graeme Craig, Jamie Crooks, Luke Philp and Jayden Hart all lit the lamp for the Alberta Golden Bears in their 4-2 win over the Mount Royal Cougars. Cam Maclise and Matt Bellerive scored for Mount Royal in the loss.
With a battered and bruised lineup, the Cougars sustained a good amount of pressure early, on the visiting Golden Bears. Alberta remained patient and cleared the way for veteran goaltender Luke Siemens.
Their patience paid off at the 9:19 mark of the first period. A quick transition caught the Cougars in the middle of a line change and Alberta was able to set up in Mount Royal's zone. A flurry came in front of Cam Lanigan, who was starting his first game of the season in the Cougars' goal. Golden Bears' defender Graeme Craig emerged with the puck and put it home past a helpless Lanigan.
The Cougars had a chance to get that goal back on the power play. Cam Maclise and Jesse Lees worked the puck around brilliantly, creating some quality scoring chances. However, Siemens was up to the task and kept the Cougars off the board in the first.
Mount Royal got right back into the game just four minutes into the second. Maddison Smiley got the puck at the point and let go a heavy slap shot on target. Cam Maclise was cruising through the slot and got a stick on the puck, deflecting it past Siemens to tie the game at one.
Jamal Watson took an elbowing penalty with just under two minutes to play in the second period, sending Alberta to the power play. Mount Royal managed to stifle Alberta's first attempt but the Golden Bears gained the zone again and went to work. Stephane Legault gained the zone and made a great spin move to get the puck to Jayden Hart down low. Hart quickly zipped the puck to Jamie Crooks, who was streaking to the net. Crooks one-timed it far side on Lanigan to restore the Golden Bears lead heading into the intermission.
Luke Siemens was simply spectacular to start the third. The fourth year netminder made two highlight reel saves at the beginning of the period to keep the Golden Bears ahead by one.
The Golden Bears sealed the game on the power play with just less than nine minutes to go. Luke Philp tipped in the Trevor Cox shot from the half wall, to give the Golden Bears some insurance.
Mount Royal and Alberta now have identical 4-2-0 records and sit one win back of the Saskatchewan Huskies for first place in the conference.
The Golden Bears will hit the road next weekend as they travel to Regina. Both Friday and Saturday nights match-ups are slated for 7:00 pm CST.