Matt Johnson, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan men's hockey team completed their first ever home stand in their new rink, as they sealed a two-game series sweep by defeating the Calgary Dinos by a score of 3-2 on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Merlis Belsher Place.
"It was a weird game, it was way different than last night. Everything was calm, defensive and poised. I thought the last thirty minutes we played great" said Huskies head coach Dave Adolph. "Last night had all that emotion, and tonight was cautious."
Kohl Bauml, Collin Shirley and Donovan Neuls contributed goals in the win for the Huskies, while Carson Stadnyk added two assists. Gordie Ballhorn, Wyatt Johnson, Jaimen Yakubowski and Carter Folk also added helpers for the home side.
Josh Uhrich and Tim Vanstone scored the goals for the Dinos, with Jake Kearley and Cain Franson contributing assists on the tallies.
Goaltender Taran Kozun kicked aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced for Saskatchewan. In the losing effort, Matthew Greenfield had a strong night as he turned away 27 of the 30 fired his way for Calgary.
The win moves the Huskies to 3-1-0 four games into the Canada West campaign, while the loss drops the Dinos to 1-2-1 on the year.
For the second time in the two-game series, the Dinos were able to get on the board first. At the 13:53 mark of the first period, Uhrich, a Saskatoon native, got his wrist shot past a screened Kozun.
Saskatchewan controlled play for the majority of the first frame, as they outshot the road side 12-6 through 20 minutes.
The Huskies continued to press in the second period, as Carter Folk broke in on a one-on-one and toe-dragged a Dinos' defender, but his shot and following rebound opportunity were both kicked aside by Greenfield.
On an ensuing Saskatchewan power-play, a cross-seam saucer pass found the tape of Wyatt Johnson's stick, but he was robbed by the glove of Greenfield, keeping his side up 1-0.
However, the Huskies power-play unit went back to work after a Jared Hauf kneeing penalty. A pair of Saskatoon natives connected when Stadnyk gathered the puck behind the net and spotted Bauml crashing to the net, who rifled the one-timer home to tie the game up at 1-1.
The second period of the second game of the series lacked the offensive fireworks of the night before.
After two periods of play, the Huskies continued to pepper the Dinos net, building on their lead in the shots on goal department, leading by a margin of 18-10.
It took just five minutes into the third period for the Huskies to take the lead on the scoreboard when Shirley found himself alone with the puck in front of the Dinos net. The second-year forward displayed tremendous patience as he out-waited Greenfield and tucked it by the sprawling goaltender to put the Huskies up 2-1.
Just under two minutes later, the Huskies added to their lead as Neuls, who was making his Merlis Belsher Place debut after being out of the lineup the night before, broke in down the left wing and fired from a sharp angle over the shoulder of Greenfield, which gave the Huskies a much-needed insurance marker, and extended the lead to 3-1.
However, the Dinos wouldn't go away as their own power-play went to work. Franson fed the puck to Vanstone who stepped into the one-timer and went bar down on Kozun to bring Calgary back within a goal with over eight minutes to play in the final frame.
Saskatchewan however, was able to withstand a late-minute flurry of Calgary pressure to complete the series sweep.
The Huskies will continue their homestand next weekend as they play host to the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Oct. 19 and 20, with both games getting underway at 7:00 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place. Meanwhile, Calgary will also look to take advantage of home ice as they'll take on the UBC Thunderbirds, who are off to a 4-0-0 start.