EDMONTON - Fifth-year forward Jamie Crooks scored his fourth goal in four games this season, leading the No. 2 University of Alberta Golden Bears to a 4-1 win over the Manitoba Bisons, Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Taylor Cooper and Riley Kieser scored their first goals of the season for Alberta, while Graeme Craig also scored for the Bears in the win. Rookie keeper Zach Sawchenko stopped 17 of the Bisons 18 shots, earning his second win in his second career start. Adam Henry scored the only Bison goal, his first of the season, while Byron Spriggs made 33 saves in the loss.
Unlike last night, it was the Golden Bears who opened the scoring first, with Cooper getting on the board 11 minutes in. Neither team generated any scoring chances earlier on, but that all changed when Cooper cut into the slot as the only Bear attacker, and floated a backhander over the shoulder of Spriggs.
Up a goal to start the second, the Bears started generating more shots and chances in the second, with Crook's tally four minutes in giving them a 2-0 lead. Crooks now leads the Bears with four goals, having scored in everyone of Alberta's games this season.
Manitoba would cut the Alberta lead in half late in the second period, as Henry was credited with a scramble goal in the Alberta net. While Manitoba was able to score an important goal late in the second, they had trouble maintaining that pace in the third period. The Bisons mustered just six third-period shots, none of which challenged Sawchenko.
Kieser restored the Alberta two-goal edge, beating Spriggs on a fantastic individual effort. The Bears captain gained the zone with speed on the left hand side, raced past the Bison defender, before beautifly executing the wrap-around behind a lunging Spriggs. Craig added his second goal of the season on the powerplay in garbage time, sealing Alberta's 4-1 win.
The undefeated Bears will head onto the road for the first half of a home-and-home series against Calgary on Friday, before hosting the Dinos at the Drake on Saturday. Manitoba (1-3), meanwhile, will head home for a series against the No. 3 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies.