This weekend, the University of Manitoba men’s hockey team hit the road after their four game home stand to play the Lethbridge Pronghorns. The Bisons were able to win 4-1 on Saturday after dropping the first contest on Friday by a score of 5-2.
The Bisons snapped a three game losing streak with the win on Saturday to keep their record at .500.
The Pronghorns started the game off with a four-goal explosion in the first period. Mitchell Maxwell opened the scoring three minutes into the opening frame with a power play marker. Forty-five seconds later, Lethbridge would double their lead through Manitoba native Justin Valentino.
It would only get worse for the herd as they gave up a short handed goal seven minutes later, as Maxwell would get his second of the night with two minutes remaining in the first. Valentino, clearly fired up to play against his hometown, made it 5-0 for the ‘Horns at the 11:04 minute mark of the second period. This forced Byron Spriggs to be pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots. Justin Paulic – who came in relief – stopped 15 shots and allowed just one goal.
The Bisons would get on the board 35 seconds after the fifth Lethbridge goal, when a shot from Adam Henry beat Pronghorns goaltender Damien Ketlo. Rookie sensation Brett Stovin would get his tenth goal of the year with three minutes left in the second.
That was all the scoring this game had left in it, as the Pronghorns emerged 5-2 victors. An awful start for the Bisons was what cost them in the end, as they outscored the ‘Horns 2-1 in periods two and three.
In the rematch on Saturday, the Bisons were deteremined not to let a bad start hurt them again. They did just that, as 27 seconds into the game defenseman Rene Hunter opened the scoring.
Jordan DePape, who had his 15 game point streak snapped the game prior, added to the Bisons lead seven minutes into the first and was assisted by his partner in crime, Stovin. DePape is now fifth in all of Canada in points with 33.
Lethbridge would score their lone goal ten minutes after DePape’s marker to make it 2-1 after one period of play.
The Bisons would add to their lead when Lee Christensen with three minutes to play in the second period. Joel Schreyer would get the Bisons fourth goal late in the third period to ice the game, as the visitors salvaged the weekend after a poor performance on Friday.
Paulic played fantastic in the win, stopping 34 of the 35 shots he faced. He is now third in save percentage in the Canada West at .914.
Manitoba faces a tough test next week against the high flying #2 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies. The Huskies have won their last six games and are the team to beat In the Canada West, posting a very impressive 18-3 record and sitting atop the conference.