Connor Hood, Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - Rookie Grayson Pawlenchuk scored twice, while Brandon Magee added three points as the Alberta Golden Bears cruised to a commanding 6-0 win over the Regina Cougars, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Jason Fram, Riley Kieser, and Clayton Kirichenko also scored for Alberta, who outshot their visitors 58-16. The win is the 40th consecutive conference win for the Bears over the Cougars, and the 45th straight home conference win.
Bears goalie Zach Sawchenko stopped all 16 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the season, as Alberta's second-straight conference wins improves their record to 6-3-0. The Cougars suffer their third-straight loss, and fall to 2-6-1.
The Golden Bears took control early, scoring the game-winner 1:31 into the first period, in a dominating performance. Fram opened the scoring on the powerplay early, the first of his three points on the night, beating Cougar starter Dawson MacAuley after the first Bears shot was blocked.
Pawlenchuk scored the first of his two goals midway through the first period, tapping in a cross-ice feed from Steven Owre for his third of the season. Alberta continued to pepper MacAuley in the Cougar crease, who was sharp, making 19 first-period saves.
Regina's defence, however, did him few favours, leading to the 22 shots in the first. Kieser banged in his second of the year with just eight seconds left in the opening frame, giving Alberta a commanding 3-0 lead after 20.
Coming in with one of the better powerplay units in Canada West, Regina was completely shutdown on the man advantage on Friday. The Cougars went 0/6 on the powerplay, mustering just two shots total at five-on-four. The Bears had no trouble scoring with the PP, as Magee added his fifth goal early in the third on a five-on-three powerplay.
The third period was no different, as Alberta maintained a vast majority of the possession. Ben Duperrealt was by far the best Cougar attacker, finishing with three shots, including a wide open look from the slot that was turned aside by Sawchenko.
His inability to finish cost Regina, as Alberta scored 20 seconds later, as Pawlenchuk added his second on the powerplay. Kirichenko added a garbage time goal in the final two minutes, his second of the season.
The two teams will finish their weekend series tomorrow night, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MST in Edmonton.