Matthew B. Pohl, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE — Despite a hard fought second-half of the game, and tying up late in the third period, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns would fall once again to the No. 3 University of Alberta Golden Bears in a closely-fought 4-3 overtime result.
Lethbridge would start Taz Burman in net this afternoon, and he would put up a valiant effort for the 'Horns, facing 60 shots against in the losing effort. Alberta's starter Kenny Cameron would turn aside 18 of 21 shots against.
Lethbridge's Evan Wardley took an early tripping penalty less than a minute into the game, and the Golden Bears came out strong from then on. Alberta would fire 12 shots on Burman in the first half of the period and keep any of the Pronghorns' shots from reaching Cameron. His first save of the game wouldn't come until the 12-minute mark of the frame with a blocker save from the half-boards.
Despite being down on the shot clock, it would be Lethbridge's Justin Valentino who would open the scoring with under two minutes left in the period. Dalton Sward would strip Alberta's Curtis Miske of the puck before sending a stretch pass to a breaking Justin Valentino, who would bury the first biscuit for his side.
Valentino's glove-side marker would put the home side up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play, with the visitors amassing a 15-6 shots-on-goal tally in the frame.
Lethbridge's Ryan Chynoweth would sit in the penalty box for the opening two minutes of the frame for slashing Alberta forward Riley Keiser at the end of the first period.
The Golden Bears would have the momentum throughout the power-play and would capitalize three seconds after Chynoweth stepped back on the ice. Jayden Hart would score for the visiting side by tucking the puck in behind a scrambling Burman to tie the game up.
Both teams would continue fighting for the go-ahead goal, At 8:22 of the frame, Lethbridge would find a way to put the puck in on the forecheck, as Sam McKechnie would notch one for the Pronghorns in front of Cameron with a quick passing play from Russell Maxwell behind the net and Blake Orban at the half-boards on Cameron's left.
Alberta would press hard in the latter half of the period, hemming Lethbridge in their own end for the vast majority of the final ten minutes of the frame, creating chances with every shot. As a result, Grayson Pawlenchuk would score off of a shallow shot from Burman's right, ricocheting into the net from the inside of the netminder's left pad.
That goal would tie the game heading into the second intermission, and the Golden Bears would maintain their shots-on-goal advantage at 37-14.
The third period would see more of the same from the Alberta Golden Bears, who would spend the vast majority of the third period in the Pronghorns zone. Just under nine minutes into the frame, Alberta's Tyson Baillie would score blocker-side from the slot on a heavily-screened Burman for his team's third goal of the game.
As time would wind down, the pressure began to mount on the Pronghorns. Coach Murray Nystrom would opt to pull his goalie with 1:32 remaining. Lethbridge would continue to apply pressure on the Golden Bears who would ice it three consecutive times in the last 45-seconds of play.
Lethbridge's late-game efforts would prove successful, as Torrin White would break up the Golden Bears' setup in the visitors' defensive zone and score an unassisted goal with 8 seconds to spare in regulation, to tie the game at 3 goals apiece and force the game to overtime, with the shots on goal in favour of Alberta 56-18.
The overtime period would be controlled largely by the Golden Bears, despite both teams getting quality chances at either end of the ice. The game would come to an end opposite to how the third ended, this time with Luke Philp scoring the game-winning goal for Alberta with 8 seconds remaining.
With the overtime win and the weekend sweep, the Golden Bears improve to 9-3 on the season, and the Pronghorns fall to 4-7-1.
The Pronghorns will be back in action next week, when they take on Mount Royal in a home-and-home series, starting at the Nicholas Sheran Arena next Friday at 7:00 PM. The Bears will also face a home-and-home and series, taking on the Calgary Dinos in a battle for second place in Canada West.
Photo by: MPP Photography