Ryan Stelter, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG – The No. 10 University of Manitoba Bisons beat the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns 5-4 in men's hockey at the Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday, Feb. 2.
A pair of streaks continued on Friday night, with the Bisons extending their winning streak to four games, and the Pronghorns had their losing streak extend to seven games. Manitoba's record moves to 15-8-2 and Lethbridge's record falls to 8-14-3.
Manitoba got off to a hot start, with a flurry of chances to start the game off. The home team was rewarded for their efforts 3:42 in when Quintin Lisoway roofed a shot over 'Horns goalie Garret Hughson, his fifth goal in three games.
"We got the start we wanted I thought we were outstanding in the beginning of the game," said Bison head coach Mike Sirant.
Lethbridge battled back tying the game a couple minutes later on the rush, Brooks Maxwell going cross ice to find Ryon Moser. The Pronghorns kept pushing, carrying majority of play in the latter stages of the first. After playing set-up man on the tying goal, Maxwell slotted home a pass from the top of the wheelhouse from Russell Maxwell behind the net and through a forest of Bison legs.
Early in the second period, Pronghorn forward Artsiom Kalashinkov scored his first of the season after he roofed a drop pass from Brandon Clowes on a 4-on-1 to double the visitors lead. The game plan all went wrong for Lethbridge at the end of the second period. It was as if the Bison goal song, Chelsea Dagger, was on repeat. Manitoba scored three unanswered goals in just 1:18 at the end of the second period to give them a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.
Bison captain Brett Stovin found a streaking Remi Laurencelle in the slot and he one-timed it past Hughson to start it off. 18 seconds later, Kamerin Nault tied the game up with a low shot under Hughson's pads. Exactly a minute later Bison defenceman Lucas Skrumeda danced in on goal and Justin Augert managed to bang home the rebound.
"We showed some resiliency in sticking with it," Sirant said. "We had a strong second period to get the lead."
Given a powerplay chance early in the third period Manitoba capitalized through Augert, as he shelved it over Hughson to make it 5-3.
Manitoba got into some penalty trouble in the third period. Blake Heinrich was called for a five-minute major and game misconduct giving Lethbridge extended time with the man advantage. With Warren Callis off for tripping, Lethbridge pounced on the 5-on-3. Pronghorn defenceman Dallas Valentine had plenty of time and fired a hard shot over Spriggs, his third goal of the year.
"Our special teams made the difference [in the third]," Sirant said. "Penalty killing was real good, we just let up that one goal on the 5-on-3. Too many penalties tonight, we can't be taking too many penalties and counting on our PK to play that big of a role."
Moser was robbed of nabbing a second goal after Spriggs slid cross crease to get the pad down halfway through the third stanza. Spriggs came up huge again late, making two kick saves to retain the Bison lead.
Lethbridge threw everything they had in the dying minutes, but could not come up with an equalizer, dropping their seventh straight.
Both teams play again on Sat., Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. CT.
First star: MAN - Justin Augert (2G)
Second star: LETH - Brooks Maxwell (1G, 1A)
Third star: MAN - Quintin Lisoway (1G, 1A)