EDMONTON - A goal at the stroke of 90 minutes completed the comeback, as the Alberta Golden Bears rallied from a two goal deficit to defeat the UNBC Timberwolves 3-2.
The Bears (2-4-1) found themselves trailing 2-0 after just 16 minutes, but were able to steady themselves, scoring three straight, including two in the final three minutes of action, to secure their first victory since their opening match of the season.
UNBC (3-4-1) struck early, as Stu Rowlands headed home the opening goal in the 14th minute. Rowlands got on the end of a Kensho Ando free kick, banging in a powerful header that Bears keeper Liam Collens could only get his fingertips on.
Just a couple of minutes later, Owen Stewart set up Anthony Preston for the second Timberwolves goal of the match, and a comfortable early lead.
Alberta was able to pull one goal back before the halftime break, as Matthew Miki swung in a corner, and Bears captain Janko Vong headed it perfectly into the upper corner of the net, cutting the Timberwolves lead to 2-1.
Possession in the second half was mostly dominated by the Golden Bears, as UNBC sat back and looked to hit on the counter. It took until the 88th minute for Alberta to equalize, as Garry Onyejelem cut inside the 18 yard box and took a shot that deflected past a helpless Daniel Zadrevec to make it 2-2.
The Bears were buoyed by the tying goal, and continued to press forward, looking for the winner. Right as the game clock hit the full 90 minutes, Miki played a brilliant ball to an on-rushing Lahai Mansaray, who made no mistake, finishing into the far corner and giving the Bears their first lead of the game.
Shots were even at 11 a piece, while Alberta had eight on target, compared to only six for UNBC. The victory snapped a five match winless drought for Alberta.
The Timberwolves will look to bounce back tomorrow as they head to Clarke Stadium to take on the MacEwan Griffins (1-4-2) tomorrow at 2:30 pm MT. Alberta will host the UBC Thunderbirds (3-1-1) at Foote Field at 2:15 pm MT on Sunday. Both games are available to stream on canadawest.tv, presented by CO-OP.