Kelsey Schaefer, Bison Sports
MANITOBA – Bison men's hockey player Zach Franko scores his first regular-season goal in overtime against the #2 Saskatchewan Huskies, lifting Manitoba to a come from behind 4-3 home win in first overtime on Friday, October 20 at the Wayne Fleming Arena.
"It was really gratifying to see Zach score that winning goal," said Bison Head Coach Mike Sirant. "He's been playing well but the puck's just haven't been going in, so what better time to score his first than in overtime."
With the win, Manitoba is now 2-3-0 record while Saskatchewan drops to 4-0-1 on the young season.
Manitoba looked like they were going to suffer their third loss in a row when they found the back of the net with only 15 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.
With only 15 seconds left on the clock, Kamerin Nault scored in the slot and sent the game into overtime.
With two minutes left in the first overtime, Brett Stovin passed the puck to Zach Franko, who took a slap shot on a one-timer and the game-winner for the Bisons.
"Spriggs played ball and kept us in the game," said Franko. "I just put myself in a good spot and Stovin made a good pass. I knew where it was going."
Manitoba player Nick Zajac got the game started by getting the team's first goal, followed by their first penalty. Saskatchewan reciprocated with two goals by John Lawrence and Josh Roach. The Bisons finished the first period behind Saskatchewan, with a score of 2-1. The Huskies outshot Manitoba 10-4.
The home side started the second period with determination with a goal two minutes in. Saskatchewan's player caught a high shot, hitting it back to the ice beside the net when Shawn Bowles snuck up to slip it in and tie the game.
Bison goaltender Byron Spriggs put on an admirable performance during the second period, blocking twice as many shots as the opposition's goalie. Spriggs continued to protect the net even when he was knocked down and pinned under a teammate. The score remained 2-2 throughout the second period.
Within two minutes of the third period, the visitors gained momentum with a goal by Kohl Bauml. Spriggs returned with back-to-back saves immediately after.
Then the fireworks ended regulation and the overtime for the hosts.
The Bisons take the win as momentum heading into tomorrow's game.
"This win will hopefully jumpstart us so we can get back tomorrow night and do it again," added Franko.
On Saturday, October 21 the same two teams play again at 7:00 p.m. CT.