Written by: Devon Shewchuk
WINNIPEG - It was a physical and high energy on Friday, November 20 at the Wayne Fleming Arena. The #3 Saskatchewan Huskies won 6-3 over the Manitoba Bisons in men's hockey to start the weekend series at Manitoba.
"We worked on some particular things over the week that I believe we're executing better. Overall we played better, with more intensity and physicality than we did last week," said Bisons head coach, Mike Sirant.
The team's effort, however, did not result in a win. With tonight's loss, the Bisons move to a 5-6-1 record, while the Huskies increase their conference record to 11-2.
A minute and a half into the first period, a check from behind sent Bisons' Captain Jordan DePape into the penalty box.
Twenty seconds later, Bisons forward Warren Callis scored shorthanded on the visiting team's goalie, Blake Voth. Joel Schreyer assisted the goal.
After a scramble for the puck at 15:26, Huskies forward Josh Roach fired a shot in between the goal pads of Bisons goalie, Byron Spriggs.
The fast paced game was brought to a screeching halt, when Roach checked Bisons defenseman Luke Paulsen into the home team's entry gate.
Play was stalled, as the gate had broken. After a five-minute delay in play, where both teams waited in their boxes, it was decided that an early intermission would be taken while the gate was fixed, with the rest of the period being played out following the break.
In the final minutes of the first period, Huskies Matthew Spafford snuck the puck into the left-hand corner of the home team's net on a wraparound goal.
The Bisons answered the Huskies within a minute, as Shaq Merasty, assisted by Jordan DePape and Jesse Paradis, created the game-tying goal to end the first period.
1:22 after the second period began; Manitoba's Brett Stovin received a two-minute penalty for roughing.
On the power play, Saskatchewan forward Parker Thomas scored on Bisons' netminder, Spriggs, making the score 3-2 Huskies.
The Bisons took advantage of a power play opportunity after Saskatchewan's Parker Thomas took a tripping penalty late in the second. At 15:43, Manitoba's Brett Stovin scored to tie the game at three. He was assisted by teammates Channing Bresciani and Adam Henry.
Players hit the ice hard in the third period, with both teams taking penalties.
With two and a half minutes left in the third, Manitoba pulled Spriggs out of net for the extra player on the ice.
The Huskies sealed their victory when defenseman Jordan Fransoo scored an empty-netter at 17:48, making the final score 6-3 for the Saskatchewan Huskies.
The teams will hit the ice to play the second half of the weekend series Saturday, November 21, with the puck scheduled to drop for 4pm CT.