EDMONTON - Jason Fram scored a pair, while Cole Linaker added the insurance marker, as the Alberta Golden Bears earned a 1-0 series lead thanks to a 3-1 win over Calgary on Friday night.
Zach Sawchenko stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced, as the Golden Bears earned a 31st straight playoff win over Calgary.
They’ve had plenty of playoff battles and as of late, it’s been all Alberta in those series. The Golden Bears have won 15 straight series against the Dinos, with none of those fifteen even getting to a third game. Simply put: it’s been consistent dominance from the team in evergreen and gold.
This weekend, the Dinos are attempting to do something they haven’t done since 1980, win a playoff series at Clare Drake Arena.
Things got off to a great start for the Dinos as they did get the first goal of the series. Just before the ten-minute mark of the opening frame, Captain Dylan Busenius fired home a rocket of a point shot.
The Bears would find another gear after falling down 1-0 and would grab momentum right back with a flurry of offensive chances. With just 94 seconds to go in the period, Fram would get his first goal of the game, sending the Clare Drake crowd into a frenzy.
Both teams were given chances with the powerplay in the second period and neither were able to take advantage. The Bears would go 0/2 with the man advantage in the middle frame and 0/6 on the night. They did a great job of generating chances but simply could not find the back of the net against a Dino's penalty kill that was simply fantastic. The Dinos only got two chances on the powerplay and didn’t get a goal.
Alberta would grab their first lead of the series with under five minutes to go in the period as it was once again Fram bringing Clare Drake Arena to its feet. He took a great feed from Brandon Magee and snuck it just under the crossbar. Plenty of Bears had good games in the series opener, but Fram was on another level. Take away the two goals and I would still say his ability to transport the puck up ice and also break up the cycle in the defensive zone made him one of the most impactful players tonight.
Up 2-1 in the final frame, the Bears would extend their lead to 3-1 when Taylor Cooper found Cole Linaker waiting on the side of the net for a back door tap in.
That would be all they needed as Alberta wrapped up the victory and took a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series goes tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. at Clare Drake Arena.