This past weekend, the University of Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team welcomed Canada West’s top team, the Saskatchewan Huskies, into town. The Huskies swept the weekend series, taking Friday’s game by a score of 6-3 as well as Saturday’s rematch, 4-3.
Saskatchewan have now won five of their last six games and improve their conference-best record to 12-2. Manitoba has dropped four straight and have an abysmal 2-6 record at home. Manitoba is now sixth in the Canada West with 12 points.
The home side started the game off well. Two minutes into the game, Warren Callis buried a shorthanded goal to put the Bisons up 1-0. The Huskies would bounce back, through goals from Josh Roach and Matthew Spafford. Shaq Merasty would tie the game up before the end of the period, though, with his ninth marker on the year.
Saskatchewan got their lead back two minutes into the second period off a Parker Thomas power play goal. The Bisons would once again tie the game up before the end of the frame with a power play goal of their own, however.
In the third period, the visitors would grab a two-goal lead, which was enough to seal the deal. The Bisons pushed hard to equalize, but the Huskies would ice the game by scoring an empty net goal with three minutes to go.
Manitoba surrendered a total of 38 shots on goal, with goalie Byron Spriggs making 33 saves. Spriggs has now made 30+ saves in four games this year.
Saskatchewan opened the scoring six minutes into the game, but just six minutes later, Jesse Paradis tied the game up for the herd with his second goal of the campaign.
Rene Hunter would give the Bisons a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission and the momentum looked to be in Manitoba’s favour. Saskatchewan would fight back, however, as they scored two goals to give themselves a 3-2 lead. Despite outshooting the Huskies, the herd found themselves down by one heading into the third.
Levi Cable would give Saskatchewan a two-goal lead five minutes into the third and things looked bleak for Manitoba. Merasty would bring the Bisons within one with two minutes left in the game, and the Bisons did everything they could to tie the game but to no avail.
Rookie goaltender Justin Paulic played admirably in the loss, making 32 saves on the night, and is now sitting at a .892 save percentage while averaging 3.76 goals against per game.
Jordan DePape extended his point streak this weekend to nine games, and is now third in the Canada West with 19 points, while averaging 1.3 points per game. Rookie Brett Stovin also extended his point streak to seven games, notching eight points in that time span.
The Bisons head out to Regina to play the Cougars next weekend. The last time these two met was the opening series of the season, with both teams registering wins. Manitoba has a 3-3 record on the road and will hope to snap their four game losing streak.
Regina is coming off a weekend in which they scored 15 goals in two games against the Lethbridge Pronghorns. The Cougars have yet to win a game at home this season, and the Bisons will look to take advantage.