EDMONTON - For the second and final time this season, the University of Alberta Golden Bears played host to the Mount Royal Cougars.
While their first two matchups of the year were back and forth affairs, tonight could not have been further from that as the Bears flexed their offensive muscles in what would be a 5-0 victory.
Trevor Cox, Cole Sanford, Tyler Soy, Luke Philp and Graeme Craig all scored for Alberta, who improves to 17-3-1. The loss is the 6th in regulation for MRU (11-6-4).
The Cougars would keep it close early, actually generating a few good chances of their own in the first ten minutes of the game, but it was the Golden Bears who would start to pull away late in the period. Cox would bring the Clare Drake crowd to its feet with just under five minutes to go in the opening frame with a beauty shot.
From that point on it was all Golden Bears as they would tack on one more before the end of the first courtesy of Sanford. The two halves of the first period could not have contrasted each other any more as the Bears held a 15-5 advantage on the shot clock when the buzzer rang.
The home side would waste no time extending their lead in the second period. The newest Golden Bear, Tyler Soy, skated right into a nice feed from Brandon McGee and flipped a backhander over a sprawled out Riley Morris, who was forced to stop a total of 24 shots in the first 40 minutes alone.
The Bears dominance continued throughout the second period as they potted two more goals before the end of the period with Philp and Craig both scoring.
Alberta had all four forward lines generating offense tonight, but the line of Sanford, Cox and Riley Keiser stood out. Those three have spent a significant amount of time together this season and it’s clear that they’re comfortable with each other. The trio combined for six points and five shots on goal in this contest.
Tonight's game also saw the return of Brendan Burke, who has missed significant time this season with an injury. While Burke wasn’t overly tested in his return, there were a handful of times he had to be sharp. He made 17 saves in the shutout effort.
His counterpart tonight was Morris who has been fantastic for the Cougars so far this season. Morris was a big reason why the score wasn’t more lopsided after 40 minutes. He made a handful of ten-bell saves. He stopped 24 of the 29 shots he faced before being pulled in the third in favour of backup Colin Cooper, who was perfect in twenty minutes of relief.
The 5-0 score would hold through the final twenty minutes and the Golden Bears would come away with their fifth straight victory, staying within one point of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies for top spot in the conference.
These two teams will meet up once again tomorrow night from the Flames Community Arena in Calgary to complete the home-and-home set.