Following a stunning come-from-behind victory Friday, the U of M Bisons men’s hockey team had to settle for a weekend split after falling 4-1 to the Alberta Golden Bears Saturday.
Both teams now sit even at 2-2 on the year.
The visitors came out of the gate fast, creating opportunities right from puck drop. Before the herd knew how to defend the onslaught, the score was 3-0 just over 12 minutes into the game.
“It took us a good 10 minutes before we started getting into the game — and at that time we were already down,” said Bisons head coach Mike Sirant.
Alberta Defenceman Jason Fram opened scoring for the Golden Bears. He was in front of Manitoba’s goalie Byron Spriggs when he converted a pass from Cole Sanford.
Alberta doubled down with its second as forward Taylor Cooper snuck one by Spriggs.
Grayson Pawlenchuk finished a nice passing play with a tip-in for the third and final goal of the period, as the Bears went into the intermission up 3-0.
Alberta added another tally in the second, when Luke Philp scored after keeping a clearing attempt inside the blue line, walking in and snapping a puck top corner to make it 4 -0.
The home side was finally able to get on the board in the third. Defenceman Mackenzie Dwyer shot a rocket past Zach Sawchenko with just under five minutes remaining to avoid being shut out.
Spriggs turned away 27 of 31 shots in the game and had little chance to stop the pucks that got by him.
“Byron couldn’t be faulted for any of those goals,” said Sirant. “He played well for us.”
The Bisons played better in the final frame, and the coach said he was happy with the effort, late as it was.
“The Bison way is we’re going to play hard until the end, it doesn’t matter what the score is,” said Sirant.
Manitoba will host the Regina Cougars next weekend. Game one is Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. CDT, while game two is Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. CDT.