EDMONTON - Fourth-year forward Stephane Legault scored twice, as the Golden Bears hockey team was able to continue their recent dominance of the Regina Cougars, earning a 4-2 win Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
The win is the 35th consecutive for Alberta over Regina in Canada West play, and the 44th straight for Alberta at Clare Drake Arena, a streak dating back to February of 1996.
Tyson Baillie notched his fourth of the season, before Graeme Craig sealed the Alberta win with his seventh in the third period, to go along with the pair from Legault. Rookie Bear Zach Sawchenko allowed two goals on 20 shots, securing his 10th win of the season (10-2-0).
The story for Regina, despite allowing four goals, was the stellar play of their rookie netminder Brandon Holtby. Holtby, in his first career Canada West start, made 49 saves on 53 Alberta shots, keeping his club in the game for a vast majority with some fantastic stops.
Most of those saves came in the second and third periods, after Regina allowed a 3-0 Alberta lead after 20 minutes. Legault and Baillie recorded powerplay goals less than a minute apart, before Legault capped off the offensive flurry with his second goal 1:38 after his first.
Craig seemingly put the game on ice with an absolute cannon of a wrister early in the second, giving the Bears the 4-0 lead. However, some timely saves from Holtby seemed to spark his teammates, who would cut into the Alberta lead late in the second. On a play that worked well the previous night, Regina was able to beat Alberta directly off a faceoff, this time from Corey Kosloski with 10 seconds left in the middle frame.
Tyson Predinchuk cut the Alberta lead to just two late in the third period, giving Regina a glimmer of hope. However, a pair of late pad saves from Sawchenko ended the chance at upset, handing Alberta their 18th win this season.
Now 18-3-1, Alberta will head back on the road next weekend for a series against the surging Lethbridge Pronghorns. Regina (3-17-2) will also be in for a test next weekend, as they travel to Winnipeg for a series against the 12-8-2 Manitoba Bisons.