EDMONTON - The University of Alberta Golden Bears scored five times in the third period, including four in just over three minutes, as they cruised past the visiting Regina Cougars 9-3, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Seven different goal scorers lit the lamp for Alberta on Friday, including two goals each from Luke Philp and Jamie Crooks. The three-point effort from Philp was also enough to vault him back into a tie for the Canada West scoring lead, with 30 points in 21 games. More importantly, the Bears stayed even with Saskatchewan, who also earned a win on Friday night, as they remain in a tie for first in the conference with matching 17-3-1 records.
Austin Bourhis, Ben Duperreault, and Landon Peel scored for Regina, who fall to 3-16-2 this season.
While the Bears entered the weekend as the heavy favourite, coming in with a 25 point lead in the conference standings and having won 33-straight conference games, it was the visiting Cougars who opened the game with the best play. Regina was able to generate a couple early chances created off turnovers, eventually opening the scoring eight minutes in, courtesy of Bourhis' snipe from the slot.
However, the Bears slowly started to regain their form as the first period went on, eventually outshooting Regina 15-10 in the opening frame. And while Cougar starter Dawson MacAuley was strong, he finally allowed a Bear shot behind him late in the first. Philp ripped in his first of the night, taking a feed from Cole Sanford in the slot, before beating MacAuley low.
Any thought of a massive upset was erased in the second period, as the Golden Bears took complete control in the middle frame. Crooks scored his first in the first three minutes, before Philp gave Alberta a 3-1 lead with his second of the night four minutes later. Duperreault's powerplay tally midway through the period was Regina's last glimmer of hope, before Clayton Kirichenko restored the two-goal Alberta lead with a PP marker of his own.
The Bears went on a scoring binge early in the third, with goals from Taylor Cooper, Jason Fram, Cole Sanford, Graeme Craig, and the second from Crooks. The Bears' nine goals are the most in a single game for them this season.
The Golden Bears and Cougars will wrap up their weekend series tomorrow night, with the rubber match scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Clare Drake Arena, and streamed live on Canada West TV.