Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge - Doing the bulk of their damage in a nine minute span in the second period, the Mount Royal Cougars took game one of a home-and-home series with the Lethbridge Pronghorns, dropping the Pronghorns 6-2 Friday night in Lethbridge.
After a scoreless opening period, the Cougars exploded for four second period goals in a span of just over a nine minutes, and then scored twice into the empty net after the Pronghorns had cut the Cougar lead to 4-2 late in the third.
Brad Kennedy, Jesse Lees, David Stephens, Josh Bly, Tanner Olstad and Mitch Lipon each scored for the Cougars, while Justin Valentino and Brandon Clowes replied for the Pronghorns.
Colin Cooper made 12 saves to earn the victory for the Cougars, while freshman Ty Edmonds made 27 saves in the loss.
While the first period was scoreless, the Cougars carried the play and outshot the Pronghorns 14-5. Cougar Jesse Lees was the closest to opening the scoring in the first, faking a dump-in and then firing toward the net as Pronghorn goaltender Ty Emdonds left the crease to stop what he thought was a puck coming around the boards, but Lees' shot clanked off the post.
Kennedy opened the scoring 3:47 into the second period, his fifth goal in the last seven periods. Kennedy redirected Jesse Lees shot that beat Pronghorn goaltender Ty Edmonds blocker side.
Exactly three minutes later, Jesse Lees doubled the Cougars lead while shorthanded. Lees intercepted an errant Pronghorn pass just inside the blue line and raced away, he was able to regain his feet after being taken down by a Pronghorns defender and beat Edmonds through the five-hole.
The Cougar onslaught continued with David Stephens picking up his first of the season less than two minutes later. On another partial breakaway, Stephens was taken down but was able to backhand a shot past Edmonds as he was sliding towards the net.
Josh Bly rounded out the second period scoring with a tap-in. Jamal Watson walked off the half wall, getting a shot away that slid under Edmonds right to a wide open Bly. It was also Bly's first goal of the season.
Through 40 minutes of play the Cougars held a 26-15 shot advantage and the Pronghorns were 0 for 3 with the man advantage, while the Cougars didn't score on their only power play through two periods.
The Pronghorns finally got on the board with less than nine minutes remaining in the third, breaking Colin Cooper's shutout bid. Justin Valentino picked up his second of the season while shorthanded.
While the play became disorganised after the Pronghorns first goal, with both team's turning the puck over multiple times in the neutral zone, the Pronghorns did however cut the Cougars lead to two with 4:24 remaining. Brandon Clowes grabbed a rebound off of Cooper and backhanded home his first of the season.
That would be as close as the Pronghorns would get, as Tanner Olstad and Mitch Lipon scored into the empty net to seal the Cougars victory.
The Pronghorns and Cougars will be back at it tomorrow night in Calgary, puck drops at the Flames Community Arena at 6:00pm.