EDMONTON – The University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey team rolled in their playoff opener, thumping the Mount Royal Cougars 7-1, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena in Game 1 of their conference semifinal.
Jamie Crooks scored a pair, while Dylan Bredo, Jayden Hart, Jordan Rowley, Brett Ferguson, and Jordan Hickmott also found the net for Alberta on Friday. Tyler Fiddler scored the lone Cougar tally, while Luke Siemens stopped 16 of 17 shots in front of a raucous Edmonton crowd for the win.
The provincial matchup got off to a wild start, with Stephane Legault sliding through the defence for a breakaway in the opening ten seconds, however, Colin Cooper was able to make the tough save. The Golden Bears offence, though, was just too much to handle, with Bredo opening the scoring off a screened point-shot just over a minute later.
The Cougars answered right back. After the Bears found themselves down two players, Fiddler was able to tap in the cross-crease pass on the five-on-three powerplay, evening the game at one.
Alberta found some momentum heading into the second, scoring in the final minutes of the first period. Legault found a wide-open Crooks in the slot, and he snapped one past Cooper short-side to restore the Bears lead.
The second period was entirely dominated by Alberta, as they took complete control of Game 1. The Bears outshot the Cougars 14-7 in the frame, while adding three more goals. Hart opened the scoring, tapping in the loose puck behind Cooper extending the lead to three. Rowley would join in the action in the final few minutes, scoring off another rebound left alone in the slot. Brett Ferguson capped off a tremendous period, scoring on yet another rebound opportunity, this time on the powerplay, which also ended Cooper's night in net.
The third period was much of the same, as Crooks would pot his second of the night early in the period, also on the powerplay. The Cougars were unable to mount any sort of comeback, firing just five third period shots on goal. Hickmott would seal the victory with his first of the night late in the third, cementing the massive six goal win.
With the win, the Bears take a 1-0 series lead, with Game 2 of the conference semifinal scheduled for 6:00 p.m. tomorrow night at Clare Drake Arena.
Connor Hood - Bears and Pandas Athletics