Bears give Huskies first road loss with shutout win

Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer Photography
Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer Photography

EDMONTON – The University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey team scored three times, including twice in the third period, to shutout the CIS No. 1 Saskatchewan Huskies 3-0 Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.

In a penalty filled affair, with 98 PIMS in total, including 68 in a wild third period, the Bears were able to hand the Huskies their first loss on the road this season, and end Saskatchewan's nine-game winning streak. Riley Kieser, Jordan Rowley and Kruise Reddick found the twine for Alberta, while Luke Siemens made 23 saves for the shutout.

In what was billed as a battle of two Canada West juggernauts, and the top scoring teams in the conference, the Bears and Huskies skated out to a relatively slow first period. Alberta would come out on top in shots, up 10-7, but neither team found the back of the net. Dylan Bredo had the best chance for either side in the first, but a great poke-check from Jordon Cooke kept the game scoreless.

The physicality and rough play picked up in the second period, with both sides getting involved in multiple after-the-whistle skirmishes. Kieser would finally open the scoring halfway through the frame, as he was able to tip-in the Jayden Hart shot past a screened Cooke, to give the Bears the 1-0 lead.

The rough play really ramped up in the final minute of the second period, with both teams getting involved in a melee in front of the Alberta net, with multiple punches thrown, culminating in the Alberta fans breaking a pane of glass. The mess would be cleaned up, however, with the Bears holding a slight edge after two periods.

Rowley would add to the Bears lead just 45 seconds into the final period, as another soft shot found a way through traffic, and past a screened Cooke. Both teams would exchange chances throughout the rest of the third, with Alberta outshooting the Huskies 25-23 through 60 minutes.

The final minutes can only be described as bizarre, as the teams combined for 68 PIMS, and two ten-minute misconducts. Cooke started the festivities with an undisciplined tripping penalty outside his crease, and continued with numerous roughing penalties on both sides. Reddick was able to cement the Bears win with a great point shot with three minutes left on a Bears two-man advantage.

However, the wild play didn't stop there, as Jordan Fransoo capped off the night with a hit from behind on Siemens, sparking another brawl in front of the Bears net.

After all the dust settles, the Golden Bears improve to 16-7-2 on the season, and keeps pace with the Mount Royal Cougars for second place in the conference standings.

Saskatchewan, meanwhile, will drop to 21-4-0, but will still enter the playoffs in as the No.1 seed.

These two heavyweights will continue their bitter rivalry tomorrow, as the rematch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Clare Drake Arena.