EDMONTON - Fourth-year Bear Jayden Hart scored twice, as the Alberta Golden Bears opened their 2019 portion of the Canada West schedule with a convincing 4-1 over the Manitoba Bisons, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Riley Kieser and Trevor Cox also scored for Alberta, while starter Zach Sawchenko stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced in the win. Bison goalie Byron Spriggs was outstanding, making 46 saves on 49 shots, keeping his side in the game numerous times. Jonah Wasylak scored the lone Manitoba goal.
The win is the Bears 13th this season, as they improve to 13-3-1. The Bisons, meanwhile, fall to 3-13-1.
Entering the weekend on opposite ends of the conference standings, the Bears showed why they are ranked second nationally. Kieser scored just 89 seconds into the first, before Hart doubled the Alberta lead late in the first frame. The Bears outshot the Bisons 17-3 in the first, with Spriggs making a handful of key stops.
Despite outshooting Manitoba 20-5 in the second, the Bears were unable to add to their lead. Alberta also had a pair of powerplay opportunities, but failed to capitalize on either.
Wasylak scored the only goal in the second, beating Sawchenko on a wide open one-timer from the faceoff circle. The was all the offence Manitoba could muster, as they tallied just 13 shots, and were unsuccessful on their lone powerplay chance.
Alberta quickly ended any hope of a Bison comeback in the third, as they dominated Manitoba in time of possession, with Cox scoring the insurance marker six minutes in. Hart added the empty net goal to seal the Bears win.
The two teams will return to action tomorrow night, as the series finale is set for 7:00 p.m. at Clare Drake Arena.