On Friday night the Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team honoured former Bison coach and player Wayne Fleming. A special ceremony was held prior to puck drop between the Alberta Golden Bears and Manitoba Bisons. Bison captain Dane Crowley was also honoured, as he received the inaugural Wayne Fleming Legacy Athletic Scholarship.
Once the pre-game festivities wrapped up, the Golden Bears and Bisons were set to open their 2013-2014 CIS hockey season. Manitoba came out flat to start the game, and could only watch as Alberta powered their way to a 5-0 shutout win. Jamie Crooks opened the scoring for the defending Canada West champion Golden Bears midway through the first period when he took a pass from team-mate Brett Ferguson and rifled a shot over the shoulder of Bison netminder Joe Caligiuri.
Alberta never looked back.
As the first period wore on, Manitoba struggled to keep up with Alberta’s speed and ran into penalty trouble as a result. The Golden Bears scored twice on the power play before the end of the period, with defenseman Jordan Rowley notching his first of the season followed by Ian Barteaux’s marker with just fourteen seconds left. All told, Alberta simply dominated the first period, outshooting the Bisons 16-2 and scoring three unanswered goals.
Alberta continued to pour it on in the second period. Forward Jordan Hickmott found himself alone in the slot and sniped a perfect shot top shelf to make the score 4-0. Shortly thereafter, Manitoba coughed up the puck on the power play and allowed Alberta to break in on a shorthanded odd man rush. Levko Koper was the recipient of a slick pass by Hickmott and made no mistake from in close, putting the Golden Bears up by five.
There was no scoring in what was a rather uneventful third period. There were a few scrums after the whistle. The Bisons actually had some sustained pressure early in the third for the first time in the game, but were unable to generate any good scoring chances. In the end, Manitoba mustered only 12 shots in the game.
Alberta forward and former Red Deer Rebel, Brett Ferguson, finished the night with two assists. He was named the first star for his efforts. Fifth-year defenseman Ian Barteaux also had two points for the Golden Bears. Defenseman Lee Christensen and forward Craig Scott were each minus three on the night for Manitoba, and the Herd registered a combined total of 40 penalty minutes, many of which resulted from a lack of discipline.