Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – Showing some resiliency, the Lethbridge Pronghorns battled back from a one-goal deficit on three separate occasions to force overtime and put an end to an eight-game losing streak with a 4-3 win in overtime over the Manitoba Bisons.
Just over a minute into the overtime, senior winger Ryon Moser picked an opportune time to score his first of the season, deflecting home Tyler Hansen's shot from the point and lifting the Pronghorns to their first win in a month.
Evan Wardley, Spenser Jensen and Mitch Maxwell scored the other Pronghorns markers. Justin Augert, Channing Bresciani and Michael St. Croix responded for the Bisons.
The win improves the Pronghorns record to 2-8-1, while the Bisons earn a point and move to 6-4-1.
"At this point, all we can worry about is our own process, progression and ultimately, our results," said Pronghorn head coach Spiros Anastas. "We can't get too high off single wins. We need to continue to string great process games together and we'll keep chipping away."
"It's nice to get that win, but more importantly I am happy with the no-quit attitude and effort tonight. We're banged up pretty badly right now but our guys know what we're capable of; just need to keep chipping away."
In an evenly played opening period, where both teams had their chances to open the scoring, it wasn't until the 14:30 mark that either team was able to hit the scoreboard. Off a Pronghorn turnover, Justin Augert took advantage and potted his second of the season for the only goal of the period. Augert corralled the puck dead in the middle of the slot and beat Pronghorn goaltender Garret Hughson glove side.
Shots after also favored the Bisons, 14-13, while the Bisons were 0 for 2 with the power play and the Pronghorns failed to score on three chances with the man advantage.
Entering the second stanza, the Bisons took the early play to the Pronghorns but Hughson was solid in the Pronghorns crease to keep his team within one.
With a two man advantage, the Pronghorns brought the game level. Captain Mitch Maxwell fed Blake Orban for the one-timer and his shot banked off Evan Wardley and past Bison goaltender Byron Spriggs.
After the equalizing goal, the pace quickened and the teams went end to end, trading chances but Manitoba nearly regained their lead while killing off the second penalty. Brett Stovin took a cross crease pass on an odd-man rush but Hughson pushed across to make a spectacular toe save.
Back went the Pronghorns on a two-on-one of their own with Jay Merkley deciding to keep and shoot however he couldn't beat Spriggs, who just got a shoulder on it.
The great chances weren't done there, Nick Zajac had a clear breakaway for the Bisons and attempted to go five-hole to no avail as Hughson shut the door to send the teams into the third tied at one.
Opening the period on the penalty kill, the Pronghorns were able to kill off the final portion of the power play and went on the offensive. Out of the penalty box, Wardley led a three-on-one, making a slick cross crease pass to Russ Maxwell, but Spriggs robbed Maxwell with a fantastic glove save.
With just under 15 minutes remaining in the third, the Bisons took their second lead of the night taking advantage of the Pronghorn turnover in their own zone. Channing Bresciani took a pass at the top of the circle and beat Hughson glove side.
Back on the power play, the Pronghorns responded four minutes later with their second power play goal of the game. Spenser Jensen took a pass coming down the slot and snapped a shot over Spriggs' shoulder for his second of the season.
The tie did not last long, as the Bisons regained their lead just over a minute later. Michael St. Croix snapped his own rebound and banged home his fourth of the season.
Looking to put an end to the skid, the Pronghorns wouldn't go away quietly. With just over three minutes remaining, Mitch Maxwell forced overtime. Maxwell blocked a point shot and raced away on a breakaway and slid it five-hole for his fifth goal of the season and third point on the night.
The Pronghorns and Bisons will be back at it tomorrow afternoon, puck drops at 1:00pm at Nicholas Sheran Arena. The game will also be streamed live on www.canadawest.tv.