Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – Looking to move back in the playoff picture, the Lethbridge Pronghorn picked up their fourth win in five games, downing the Calgary Dinos 4-1 in the front half of a home-and-home series.
Heading into the weekend, the Pronghorns had moved back within two points of the final playoff spot, but were shorthanded due to injuries, dressing only three forward lines. The win moves the Pronghorns into a temporary tie for sixth place with the UBC Thunderbirds and improves their record to 5-9-1-0.
The loss drops the Dinos to 7-5-2-1 and are now only six points ahead of the Pronghorns.
"Our guys are showing a ton of character right now," said Pronghorn head coach Spiros Anastas. "Winning four out of five games and our bench keeps getting shorter."
"We are down to 14 skaters after tonight, but as long as our guys show up and keep it simple we give ourselves a chance."
One player taking advantage of extra ice time is Ryan Chynoweth, who scored his first two goals of the season to pace the Pronghorns. Connor Sanvido and Dallas Valentine scored the other Pronghorn goals. Cain Franson picked up the lone Dinos goal.
Garret Hughson, making his fifth consecutive start, stopped 46 of the 47 shots he faced to pick up his fifth win of the season.
Matthew Greenfield made 10 saves before being removed after the Pronghorns third goal. In relief, Justin Papirny made 18 saves.
With an early man advantage, Connor Sanvido opened the scoring for the Pronghorns, streaking down the far side of the ice and beating Greenfield high glove.
Dallas Valentine picked up his second goal in as many games to double the Pronghorn lead before the period was out. The first-year defenceman scored his first career goal last Saturday and beat Greenfield on delayed penalty tonight.
Hughson made a few timely saves on the penalty kill and made a big save off Dinos' forward Coda Gordon on an odd man rush. He finished the period with 19 saves.
In the second, Chynoweth scored twice to push the lead to 4-0. His first of the night was with a two man-advantage, deflecting home a point shot. The goal spelled the end of the night for Greenfield.
Chynoweth banged home a Bryson Gore pass for his second of the night with just over seven minutes remaining in the second.
Following the Pronghorns fourth goal of the night, it look like the Dinos would make the game interesting, cutting the lead to three only a 1:15 later. Cain Franson beat Hughson glove for his seventh of the season, but that would be all Hughson would give up on this night.
The back half of the home-and-home goes tomorrow night in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena, puck drops at 6:00pm