MHKY: Bisons down Cougars in double-overtime thriller

MHKY: Bisons down Cougars in double-overtime thriller

University of Regina Sports Information

REGINA - The University of Regina men's hockey team lost a heartbreaker against the Manitoba Bisons on Saturday afternoon, falling 6-5 in double overtime. 

Kamerin Nault was the hero for the Bisons, netting the winner at the 2:50 mark of the second overtime period. Michael St. Croix, Warren Callis, Remi Laurencelle, Adam Henry and Justin Augert also tallied as Manitoba completes the sweep and goes to 6-4-0.

Ian McNulty, Carter Hansen, Austin Bourhis, Tyler King and Cody Fowlie replied for the Cougars (1-7-1). Zak Zborosky recorded three helpers to take the lead in the Canada West rookie scoring race with 11 points.

It was a back-and-forth affair at The Co-operators Centre, with four ties and three lead changes along the way. Dasan Sydora made 46 saves to get the win in his first appearance of the season. Michael Herringer stopped 30 Bison efforts at the other end of the rink.

St. Croix scored the first goal of the afternoon 1:44 in, as Manitoba worked the puck up the boards and Nault found St. Croix on the right wing. He evaded a sliding Cougar defender and beat Herringer with a high shot to the short side.

McNulty and the Cougars clawed back, tying the score at the 8:17 mark of the first. Sydora was able to kick away a bouncing puck that was played at him by a Bison defender, but McNulty was right there to put away a backhanded effort for his third of the season.

Regina thought they had taken the lead about four minutes later after the Cougars won a faceoff in the Manitoba end and the puck was flipped towards the net. Sydora punched it away with his blocker but it bounced off the shoulder of Colton Sparrow and into the goal. It was initially signalled a goal but after the referees talked it over it was ruled that Sparrow hit it in with his arm so the goal was waved off.

The Cougars did take a 2-1 lead early in the second as Hansen was able to put home a rebound off a point shot from Brody Luhning. The Cougar lead lasted less than 90 seconds, as Callis showcased his speed and picked the top corner over the glove of Herringer. The line of Callis, Laurencelle and Joel Schreyer struck again a few minutes later as a quick pass from Callis found Laurencelle in front and he one-timed it past Herringer.

Regina tied it up again before the end of the second, as Bourhis took a feed in the slot and went glove side on Sydora. McNulty and Zborosky assisted on the defenceman's second goal, but again Manitoba regained the lead. 51 seconds after the Bourhis goal, Henry took a pass on the fly and went high glove on Herringer, the same spot that Callis beat the first-year goaltender earlier in the period.

The rollercoaster continued in the third as a Bison rush produced a questionable goal as Herringer was pushed into the net, but Augert was credited with his first. The Cougars shrunk the deficit again a minute later, as King blasted a one-timer home to cut the lead to 5-4. Zborosky and Luhning both picked up their second assists of the night on King's fourth.

The Bisons spent the last couple minutes of regulation in what resembled a prevent defence, but the Cougars pulled Herringer with just under a minute to play and capitalized. King fed the puck up the right wing for Zborosky who wheeled down into the corner and played it out front for Fowlie, and the Cougar captain put it high past Sydora to make it 5-5.

The Cougars had another goal waved off in the first overtime after a McNulty shot went over the net and hit the end boards. Ben Duperreault tried to glove it down but the puck took a funny bounce off his hand and went in the net where the refs were quick to signal no goal. McNulty almost ended it again, beating Syroda in double overtime but finding the crossbar.

The deciding goal came late in double overtime, but the game could have ended just as easily for the Cougars just seconds before. McNulty was sprung in on a breakaway but Sydora kicked away his effort with the pad. The puck bounced to the blue line where the Cougars tried to keep it in but Nault got in the way and took a breakaway chance of his own the other way. The second-year forward slipped a low shot through the pads of Herringer to complete the sweep for Manitoba.

The Cougars will be on the road next weekend, heading to Calgary to take on the No. 9-ranked Dinos. Manitoba will visit Lethbridge for a weekend set.