Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – For the second game in a row the Lethbridge Pronghorns and Manitoba Bisons needed overtime to determine a winner and similar to Friday night, the Pronghorns scored early in the first overtime to beat the Bisons by the exact same score, 4-3.
Off the opening face-off of overtime, Justin Valentino pushed the puck forward and into the offensive end. Collecting a rebound off Valentino's shot in front Captain Mitch Maxwell outwaited Bison goaltender Byron Spriggs and slid into the cage for the Pronghorns third win of the season.
"It was a complete team effort today," said Pronghorn head coach Spiros Anastas. "We had 16 skaters and we probably played our best process and structure game of the season."
"We kept it simple and every single guy contributed. I'm proud of the guys for a gutsy performance this weekend, but we're in a position where we need to have short memories. We need to refocus and move onto the next one and keep chipping away."
The win improves the Pronghorns record to 3-8-1, while the Bisons return home with two points with back-to-back overtime losses and their record moves to 6-4-2.
Valentino picked up two goals in the win, while Dalton Sward scored the other Pronghorn goal. Zach Franko, Joel Schreyer and Kamerin Nault scored for the Bisons.
Pronghorn goaltender Garret Hughson made 25 saves in the win, while his counterpart Byron Spriggs, the main reason the game went to overtime turned aside 47 of the 51 shots he faced.
Looking to build off Friday night's win, Lethbridge had arguably their best period of the season on home ice, outshooting the Bisons 19-8, but were unable to solve Bison goaltender Byron Spriggs.
Dalton Sward had the best chance of the period for the Pronghorns, one-timing a juicy rebound, but Spriggs went post-to-post to make the save.
After a dominant opening period, the Pronghorns found themselves down a goal less than four minutes into the second period. Franko took a cross ice pass and while Garret Hughson got a piece of the one-timer, he didn't get enough to keep it out.
Justin Valentino had a great chance to tie the score a short time later on a breakaway but his shot went high and wide.
With just less than five minutes remaining in the second stanza, Dalton Sward would level the game at one. Streaking down the right side, Sward beat Spriggs short side for his second of the season.
Pronghorns once again dominated the shots, outshooting the Bisons 18-8 in the period, but Spriggs was the difference maker heading into the final period.
Only 1:19 into the third period, the Pronghorns took their first lead of the weekend. Valentino picked up his first of two in the period, driving the net and redirecting a pass through Spriggs and into the back of the net.
However, the lead did not last long. Three minutes later a seeing-eye shot hit multiple bodies on the way to the Pronghorns net and past an unsuspecting Hughson. The goal was credited to Joel Schreyer for his first of the season.
Valentino regained the Pronghorns lead four minutes later, collecting a loose puck in his own end, Valentino went coast-to-coast splitting the Bison defence and beat Spriggs five-hole for his fifth of the season.
With the goalie pulled, the Bisons tied the scoring with only 4.7 seconds remaining, Kamerin Nault redirected a shot from the half wall and past Hughson to force overtime.
While the Bisons earned a point, it didn't take long for the Pronghorns to end the game as Maxwell scored the game winner only 17-seconds into the extra period.
Next weekend, the Pronghorns head out on the road for a pair of games in Regina versus the Regina Cougars. The Bisons will return home to host the Calgary Dinos.