EDMONTON - The Alberta Golden Bears scored five powerplay goals, as they earned a 11th-straight Canada West win with a 9-5 victory over the Lethbridge Pronghorns, Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
After being absolutely dominated by the Golden Bears on Friday, the Pronghorns brought a much better effort to the ice at Clare Drake Arena tonight.
It was a back and forth affair with multiple lead changes and a total of ten goals scored in the first 40 minutes alone. Despite a resilient effort from the visitors, it was ultimately the Golden Bears who would walk away with the victory in this one.
Brandon Magee scored three, while Jayden Hart, Jason Fram, Grayson Pawlenchuk, Clayton Kirichenko, Cole Sanford, and Tyler Soy also scored for Alberta in the win. Brendan Burke earned the win for the hosts, but allowed five goals on 18 shots.
Connor Sanvido, Sam McKenchnie, Landon Gross, Derek Brown and Cameron Trott scored for the Pronghorns in the loss. Garrett Hughson was pulled after allowing five goals on 23 shots, before Taz Burman allowed four on 17 in relief.
Special teams were a massive story in this one. The Pronghorns went one for three on the powerplay, but they also scored two shorthanded goals. Discipline would be their ultimate downfall, as they top-ranked Alberta powerplay seven chances and it cost them five goals.
Just like last night, the Bears got on the board first when Fram fired home a wrist shot just under five minutes into the opening frame. Unlike the first game of this weekend set, the lead did not last long as Sanvido got Lethbridge on the board.
Magee would shoot the Bears back out in front but, once again, the pesky Pronghorns would tie things up. This time it was McKechnie finding the back of the net as he finished off a shorthanded two on one.
Despite Alberta holding a 12-6 advantage on the shot clock, the game was all tied up after 20 minutes.
The offence kept coming in the second period as the Bears got three powerplay markers (Magee, Kirichenko, Hart) and also got a goal from Soy, his second of the season. The Pronghorns seemed to always have a response though, they got two of their own in the frame courtesy of Gross and Brown.
This game was much tighter than expected heading into the third period, but the Golden Bears would pull away adding three goals, including a hat-trick marker from Magee, en route to their 9-5 victory.
At the end of the day, the result doesn’t hurt the Pronghorns in the standings as they clinched a playoff spot earlier today when Manitoba lost to the University of British Columbia. They’re locked into the sixth spot in the conference and will head to Calgary to take on the Dinos in round one of the playoffs.
For Alberta, tonight's win was their 11th in a row and marks the 19th consecutive game in which they’ve grabbed a point, going 18-0-1 in that stretch. They didn’t get any help on the out of town scoreboard either as Saskatchewan was able to grab two points against Mount Royal, which kept them one point up on the Bears for the top spot in the conference.
The Bears will close out the regular season next weekend with a home-and-home series against the Calgary Dinos. Lethbridge will finish with a series against Mount Royal.