LETHBRIDGE - Luke Philp and Trevor Cox each recorded 4 points to lead the #1 ranked Alberta Golden Bears to a 7-1 win over the host Lethbridge Pronghorns during their 2019 U Cup quarterfinal game at the ENMAX Centre.
Philp, the 2019 Player of the Year, scored two goals and two assists, and was named the Player of the Game for the defending champs. Cox managed three assists and one goal. Sophomore goalie Zach Sawchenko stopped 14 of 15 shots in the win as well.
"The first period they came after us and made things difficult,” said Alberta bench boss Ian Herbers after the game. “That first game is always the hardest at this tournament, getting your legs under you and everything else, but I thought our guys responded well. We were a little tentative at first but then we played our game."
Philp opened the scoring while on a 2-on-1 with Cox midway through the first, and then doubled Alberta’s advantage just four minutes into the second period when he tapped in a rebound on the power-play.
After the Pronghorns cut the lead in half when fifth-year centre Connor Sanvido wired a slap shot short side just minutes after Philp’s second goal, the Alberta special teams reestablished the two goal cushion, this time while shorthanded as third-year defender and former Edmonton Oil King Ben Carroll scored his first career University Cup goal.
Sawchenko made a beautiful right pad save while on his stomach to rob the Horns of a PP chance with less than two minutes remaining in the middle frame.
Cole Sanford hammered the nail in the Pronghorns coffin when he scored with 17.9 seconds remaining in the second to make it 4-1 after 40 minutes.
The Bears kept a foot on the gas in the third, getting goals from Cox, Sawyer Langeand Brandon Magee to finish the game with the 7-1 victory.
"I think we feel good," said Philp post game. "We are confident. The first one is always difficult, and I thought we were hesitant at times to start the game. We did a better job as the game moved on, and I thought our third was our best period so that is good moving forward."
The Bears finished 1-3 on the power-play, while holding Lethbridge to 0-4 on the penalty kill and scoring one shorthanded tally. Alberta outshot the host Horns 30-15.
With the win, Alberta advances to the semifinals, where they will play Saskatchewan for a second consecutive year. Puck drop is set for 1:00 p.m. MT Saturday on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet Now.