Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE – In the front half of a home-and-home series, the Calgary Dino drew first blood, as four different goal scorers propelled the Dinos to a 4-1 win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns in Canada West men's hockey action.
The win is the Dinos third in a row and improves their record to 4-2-1. The loss extends the Pronghorns losing streak to three and sees their record drop to 2-5-0
Regain Nagy, Logan Fisher, Chris Rauckman and Dan Gibson scored for the Dinos, while Russ Maxwell replied for the Pronghorns.
Prior to the opening face-off the Pronghorns men's hockey program and Pronghorn Athletics paid tribute to former captain Brock Hirsche who lost his battle with cancer this past spring, retiring his number 10 jersey and unveiling a banner that will hang in Nicholas Sheran Arena.
Less than three minutes into the opening period, the Dinos opened the scoring. Pronghorn goaltender Garret Hughson stopped the original shot but the puck slipped through for Regan Nagy to tap home his first Canada West goal.
Working the old fashion given-and-go starting in their own end, Calgary doubled the lead. Logan Fisher chipped the puck to Mitch Cook, who in turn feed a streaking Fisher at the Pronghorn blue line and Fisher made no mistake beating Hughson, off the post and in.
Through 20 minutes, the Dinos outshot the Pronghorns 17 to 9 and carried a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Similar to the opening period, the Dinos extended their lead with another goal before the period was three minutes old. Chris Rauckman ripped a shot from the just inside the Pronghorn blue line that beat a screened Hughson, for his fourth of the season
While shorthanded, Pronghorn Justin Valentino went in on a partial breakaway, deking to his backhand but Dinos goaltender Justin Papirny closed the door to keep the Dinos up 3-0.
However, the Pronghorns would strike only a short time later. Connor Sanvido snapped a shot from the top of the circles that took a wild carom off the glass in front, where Russ Maxwell hit a homerun from mid-air for his first goal of the season.
The goal seemed to spark the Pronghorns and led to some extended offensive zone in the ensuing shifts but the Pronghorns were not able to take advantage the momentum and trailed 3-1 heading into the final 20 minutes.
Despite being outshot 6-2 in the opening 10 minutes of the third period, the Dinos regained their three goal lead near the midway mark of the third period. Breaking in on a partial two-on-one, Coda Gordon slid a pass over to Dane Gibson, who was able to redirect the pass past Hughson with a Pronghorn defender draped all over him.
Looking to claw themselves back into the game, defenseman Clint Filbrandt, who had jumped in from his point position, found himself with a point chance in front but Papirny went post-to-post to shut the door.
Papriny finished the night with 22 saves to earn the victory, while Pronghorn goaltender Garret Hughson stopped 34 of the 38 shots he faced.
The back half of the home-and-home series between the Pronghorns and Dinos will go tomorrow night in Calgary at Father Bauer Arena, puck drops at 6:00 p.m., catch all the action on www.canadawest.tv.