REGINA, Sask. - The University of Regina men’s hockey team fell 4-3 to the No. 1-ranked Alberta Pandas on Friday night at The Co-operators Centre.
Alberta moves to 7-0-0 on the strength of goals from Cole Sanford, Brandon Magee, Tyson Baillie and Luke Philp. Trevor Cox, Jason Fram and Stephane Legault had two assists each for the Golden Bears. Regina (1-5-1) replied thanks to Corey Kosloski, Ben Duperreault and Zak Zborosky.
The first half of the opening period was full of action as Alberta jumped out to a 3-0 lead with goals at the 3:58, 6:11 and 7:24 marks thanks to Sanford, Magee and Baillie. Regina got one back at 8:49 as Kosloski showed off his hand-eye coordination for his first goal in a Cougar uniform. Tyler King threw a shot from the point towards the net and it was popped right up in the air by the blocker of Brendan Burke. A Golden Bear defender swatted the puck off the helmet of a teammate and Kosloski batted it out of midair to get the Cougars on the board.
Regina struck first in the second period as Duperreault knocked the puck away from a retreating Golden Bear defender and went in alone, beating Burke with a slick move to the backhand.
Alberta restored the two-goal lead as Philp beat Michael Herringer at the 14:33 mark, but Regina drew closer again with a powerplay goal thanks to Zborosky at 16:07. Zach Sawchenko was in the Alberta goal for the third Regina marker as Burke left midway through the second due to a lower-body injury. The Cougars solved Sawchenko just five seconds after Sanford was sent off for checking from behind, as a slapshot from Brody Luhning created some havoc in front. Ian McNulty had a go at it but it was ultimately Zborosky who finished the play, scoring his fourth of the year from the doorstep.
Magee had a glorious chance with just over four minutes to play, going in alone at Herringer but the rookie netminder made a sprawling pad save to keep the Cougars in the game. Taylor Cooper nearly put the game away late as well, but his wrap around was poked away from an open Cougar goal by a Regina defender before Herringer recovered to pounce on it.
Regina had 45 seconds at the end of the game with Herringer on the bench for an extra attacker, but failed to put a shot on goal to challenge Sawchenko for the equalizer.
Herringer finished with 25 saves while Burke made nine and Sawchenko had 12.
The Cougars and Golden Bears will face off again on Saturday, with puck drop slated for 3 p.m. at The Co-operators Centre.