EDMONTON – Three powerplay goals propelled the University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey team to a 5-2 win Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena, and weekend sweep of the visiting CIS No.1 Saskatchewan Huskies.
Levko Koper, Jordan Rowley, Thomas Carr, Stephane Legault and Jamie Crooks scored for the Golden Bears, who now improve to 17-7-2 on the season. Jesse Ross and Sean Aschim scored for Saskatchewan in defeat, as they fall to 21-5-0, following their back-to-back losses.
In what was a substantially quieter game than the previous nights' brouhaha, the Golden Bears dominated from start to finish, dominating possession, and outshooting the Huskies 37-19. On just the Bears second shot of the game, Koper would open the scoring for Alberta, as the Huskies blew their defensive assignments, leaving Koper alone in the slot to wire in his 49th career conference goal. Luke Siemens made three tremendous saves in the opening frame, highlighted by a great pad save off a shot from Levi Cable, to maintain the Bears slim lead.
Alberta was able to add to that lead early in the second, as Rowley's point-shot on the powerplay found a lane through a mess of bodies in front, and past a screened Jordon Cooke. It would take the Bears less than two minutes to extend their lead to three, as Carr ripped in another PP goal for Alberta.
However, Saskatchewan was finally able to score their first goal of the weekend 14 seconds after the Carr tally. Ross' soft shot from just inside the blue-line fooled Siemens, ricocheting off the post and in. Saskatchewan would find some late momentum in the second period, as Aschim caught Siemens deep in his net, and down on his knees, firing another weak shot over the Alberta goalie.
That momentum didn't carry over into the final frame, however, as the Huskies could only muster three third period shots. Legault added the insurance marker for the Bears halfway through the final frame, tapping in the Dylan Bredo pass, past a helpless Cooke, making it 4-2. Crooks would ice the game late with the Bears fifth goal, cementing the Alberta sweep.
The sweep, and four points, allows the Bears to keep pace with the Mount Royal Cougars, trailing by one a single point for second in the Canada West standings, and a first round playoff 'bye'. Despite losing both games in Edmonton, the Saskatchewan Huskies remain the No.1 seed entering the playoffs, and will end their regular season next week against the last-place Regina Cougars.
The Golden Bears and Mount Royal Cougars will also battle next weekend, with the 'bye' up for grabs, with the two squads participating in a home-and-home series.