Lethbridge, Alta. – Opening the New Year at home, the Lethbridge Pronghorn men's hockey team pushed the nationally fourth ranked Saskatchewan Huskies to the brink but in the end could not solve Huskie goaltender Jordan and dropped a 3-1 decision.
'Horns goaltender Dylan Tait took the loss, making 39 saves including a handful of solid stops to keep the 'Horns within striking distance. Second-year goaltender Jordon Cooke made 38 saves to pick up his 12th win of the season.
Huskies hit the scoreboard just over a minute into the game, Bauyml's original shot was stopped by Tait but Levi Cable was in perfect position to bang home the rebound.
While on the power play, 'Horns forward Jay Merkley made a nifty deke around a Huskie, springing himself and he made no mistake beating Cooke five-hole to tie the score at one.
Just as a Huskie power play ended, the Huskies regained their one-goal lead. Lawrence took a feed across the ice from Jesse Ross and beat Tait short side.
Shots after the opening frame favored the Huskies 13-10.
Despite plenty of action at both ends of the ice in the second period, the score remained the same through 40 minutes. The 'Horns held a slight 16-15 advantage in the shot department but both goalies stood tall in their respective creases.
Merkley arguably had the best chance for either team. Breaking in on the left wing his high-rising shot was stopped by Cooke but went up over the goaltender's shoulder and a Huskie defender swatted the puck off the goal line to secure the Huskies one goal lead with one period remaining.
Just before the midpoint of the third, the 'Horns had a great chance to bring the game even on the power play but despite extended offensive zone time and some great looks, the 'Horns could not beat Cooke or the Huskies defence.
Following the 'Horns power play, the Huskies had three great chances to extend their lead but Tait made a great save off a redirect from #9 and then stoned #15 twice in close.
The 'Horns again looking to knot the game at two, Robert Lindores was robbed point-blank by Cooke on a one-timer from the slot with just over five minutes remaining.
With the 'Horns pushing for the elusive tying goal and the goalie pulled, Jesse Ross cleared the puck from just outside his own blue line and it rolled into the empty net to seal the game with only 33 seconds remaining.
The 'Horns finished the night 1 for 5 on the power play, while the Huskies, the conference's top power play team, finished 0 for 1 on the night. Shots at the end of the night favored the Huskies, 42-38.
With the loss the 'Horns fall to 6-10-1 on the season, while the Huskies move to 14-3-0 on the season and move three points ahead of the Alberta Golden Bears for top spot in Canada West after the Bears were beaten by the Manitoba Bisons tonight.
These same two teams with face-off tomorrow night, puck drops at Nicholas Sheran Arena at 7:00pm and the game will be webcast on www.canadawest.tv.