Ryan Stelter, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – Led by Michael St. Croix's two points, the University of Manitoba Bisons edged the University of Calgary Dinos 3-2 at the Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday, Nov. 24.
A crucial series with only three points separating the Dinos and Bisons in the standings, Manitoba took the opening game on Friday to narrow the gap to one point. Michael St. Croix's snipe with six minutes to go in the third was the difference on the night.
With the win the Bisons improve to 7-4-2-0 and the Dinos drop to 6-4-2-1 in Canada West play.
"It was a big game of course against Calgary, to find a way to win that's a huge two points for our hockey team," said Bison head coach Mike Sirant.
The first period was largely dominated by the Dinos, forcing 11 saves out of Manitoba's starting goaltender Byron Spriggs. Spriggs made a huge stop on a 2-on-0 when Manitoba was on the powerplay early in the frame. Despite Calgary's dominance, Kamerin Nault tipped home a St. Croix shot from the top of the circle for his seventh of the campaign nine minutes into the first.
Logan Fisher answered back a few minutes later for the Dinos on a spin-o-rama shot from in tight, completely stunning Spriggs.
In the second period, Manitoba had a powerplay to start, but it was the Dinos who struck shorthanded. Luke Harrison worked his way down the boards and squeaked in a wraparound attempt.
Manitoba drew level on the powerplay towards the end of the second that has done them so well at home. A Channing Bresciani point shot was tipped dead by Quinton Lisoway, but Lisoway stuck with it and shoveled the puck into a gaping net.
The third period had a next goal wins type feel, with both teams playing a tight checking game. St. Croix gave the Bisons the lead with six minutes to go when he came barreling down the left hand wing and fired a shot high over Matthew Greenfield's glove. St. Croix faked the pass across to Nault, but elected to shoot, and was rewarded.
"I always think pass," he said after the game. "I definitely wanted to pass it over there initially, it kind of closed off fairly quickly so I decided to shoot the puck for once and it went in."
The Bisons and Dinos resume niceties on Saturday, Nov. 25 at the Wayne Fleming Arena. Puck drop is slated for 1 p.m. CT.