REGINA, Sask. - Luke Philp added to his Canada West-leading goal total with four goals as the No. 2-ranked Alberta Golden Bears took a 6-3 win against the University of Regina men’s hockey team on Friday night at The Co-operators Centre.
Graeme Craig added a goal and two assists while Jayden Hart scored as well for the visitors. Grayson Pawlenchuk had three assists and Brandon Magee and Steven Owre had two helpers each. Tristan Frei, Mike Eskra and James Hilsendager replied for the Cougars, who fall to 4-18-1 with the loss. Alberta improves to 19-3-1 and wins its eighth-straight game.
Brendan Burke made 14 saves for his third win of the season in net. Brandon Holtby made his first start of the season for Regina, stopping 46 Alberta efforts.
It didn’t take long for Philp to leave his mark on Friday’s contest, netting a shorthanded goal just over two minutes on with a low shot through the pads of Holtby. Philp added his second of the night just three minutes later, taking a cross-ice feed from Magee and teeing it up to beat Holtby again. Craig scored his fourth of the season at the midway point of the period, launching a shot from the point that evaded the screened Regina netminder.
The second period was much better for Regina, largely because of Holtby’s play. The second-year goalie made 17 saves in the frame, but Philp managed to complete the hat trick at the 16:40 mark. Magee laid a nice pass right on the tape of Philp in the slot and a rocket of a one-timer left Holtby little chance to stop it, as the puck went bar-down for the goal.
Regina showed some life at the start of the third period, as the Cougar captain capitalized on an Alberta turnover. Frei was in the right spot as a loose puck fell onto his stick, and a lightning-quick shot over the glove of Burke gave the Cougars their first goal of the evening.
Hart answered for Alberta shortly after on a deflection before Eskra replied for the Cougars at 9:00 of the period. Eskra’s goal came courtesy of a trio of first-year Cougars, as Tyler Kreklewich forced a turnover and Tate Coughlin fed it across for Eskra who scored his third goal in as many games. Hilsendager scored his first goal as a Cougar minutes later, ripping a slapshot past Burke for the powerplay marker.
With the Cougars within two, Alberta employed its offence as the best form of defence, dominating the time of possession for the dying minutes. Philp put away his fourth of the night and 20th of the season with roughly three minutes to play, capitalizing on a rebound after Holtby stopped a shot from Pawlenchuk.
The Cougars and Golden Bears will face off again on Saturday afternoon, with a 3 p.m. puck drop at The Co-operators Centre.