Written by: Ryan Stelter
WINNIPEG – On Saturday, November 26, the #2 University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the University of Manitoba Bisons met for the second game of a two game men's hockey series at the Wayne Fleming Arena. The Bisons took this game 5-2 to earn a weekend split against the Huskies.
With the win, the Bisons improve to 6-7-1, while the #2 Huskies drop to 9-3-2 in Canada West conference action.
"Our guys should be proud of their performance, and their effort today," Bisons head coach Mike Sirant said post game. "They showed sacrifice, courage and the will to win."
Byron Spriggs, making his second start in as many nights for the Bisons was tested early in the first period, making a couple key stops. Spriggs made 41 saves on the night in the win for Manitoba. The physicality was on full display, as the provincial rivals lost no love from the night prior.
"There's a big rivalry between Saskatchewan and Manitoba," Sirant said. "They've got a big team, especially on defence. Perhaps the biggest in not only the Canada West, but the whole nation."
The home side struck first late in the opening frame through Quinton Lisoway when he came barreling down the right wing and fired over the shoulder of Jordon Cooke. The Bisons held their first lead of the weekend after 20 minutes.
Jordon Cooke was called into action for the Huskies early in the second with the Bisons on the penalty kill. A Lisoway shot came off the pad of Cooke and straight to a streaking Brett Stovin, but Cooke was quick to slide across and stone the second year forward.
The Bisons made it 2-0 at the halfway mark of the second. Nick Zajac scored his second of the weekend after Remi Laurencelle sent a pass cross ice and Zajac finished short side shelf on Cooke. Channing Bresciani got the second assist, he finished with three on the night.
Saskatchewan cut the lead to 2-1 the very next shift after Parker Thomas jumped on a loose puck at the top of the slot finished high on Spriggs.
With Josh Roach off for goalie interference, the Bisons capitalized on the powerplay to restore their two goal lead. Brett Dudar managed to get a puck through at the side of the net during a scramble in the crease.
The Bisons led 3-1 after 40 minutes of play, despite the Huskies outshooting the home side 26-23.
Manitoba made it 4-1 when Zajac through a nifty backhand pass from the corner to Laurencelle who one timed it far side on Cooke. Brett Stovin drew the other assist on the play. Saskatchewan would draw back within two after a Jordan Tkatch buried a rebound on the powerplay.
Rene Hunter slid a puck five hole on Cooke with two and a half minutes remaining in the third to put the home side up 5-2. Stovin and Laurencelle assisted on the play. The Bisons took this game 5-2 and earned three points out of a possible four on the weekend.
"Getting these points is huge," Sirant said. "Especially in our conference, where the standings are so tight."
The Bisons head off to Mount Royal to play the Cougars on Dec. 2-3, and the Saskatchewan Huskies play host to the Alberta Golden Bears the same weekend.
1st: Channing Bresciani – MB (3A)
2nd: Remi Laurencelle – MB (1G, 2A)
3rd: Parker Thomas – SK (1G, 1A)