Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY- The Mount Royal formulated their second sweep of the season but this time against cross-provincial rivals Lethbridge Pronghorns in the second half of the home-and-home, picking up a 5-1 win at the Flames Community Arenas Saturday night.
Looking to continue their winning ways after a 5-2 win that snapped a four-game losing skid from the night previous, the Cougars picked up two crucial points in their chase of the middle of the Canada West league table while separating themselves from the lower half.
"Feels good to get two straight," said goalscorer Jamal Watson, who netted two goals in as many nights.
MRU are back over 0.500, rising to a 6-5-3 record while Lethbridge drops to 4-9-1.
"It's important we got the points to keep chasing the top guys and separate us from the bottom," Watson concluded.
The Cougars began the rubber match on the front foot as Jesse Lees showed off his offensive touch. The third-year defender found the back of the net for the fourth time this season, clapping a booming slapshot past rookie Taz Burman just 1:48 into the contest.
Burman stopped 28 of 32 shots on net.
Lees' marker was the only bit of action in a stalemated first period.
MRU doubled their lead just over the midway point of the second period at 10:05 that began when Cougars defender Kade Jensen alley-oop'd a long flip pass from the back end.
The puck trickled past a Pronghorn manning the blueline and on the ensuing two-on-one, Mitch Lipon shrugged off an incoming defender to centre a pass right on the blade of Connor Chartier who tapped in the puck into a yawning cage.
MRU took a 2-0 lead into the second break.
Lethbridge pulled a goal back early in the third period at 4:03 that snapped the shutout bid of Riley Morris.
On a bang-bang play, a wavy puck sent in by Torrin White went off the body of Ryan Chynoweth and in for his third goal of the season.
Every line scored for the Cougars to help their goaltender Morris pick up the win as he stopped 24 of 25 on route for this fourth win of the season. He commented on the team performance saying, "We were on a bit of a slide, so it was good for us to get into the win column."
The Cougars, however, put an end to any hopes of a Lethbridge comeback on Josh Bly's fourth goal.
Burman gambled on a dumped-in puck and elected to play it up the boards, but the puck landed on the stick of David Stephens who calmly tossed the puck on net to a waiting Bly who tapped it in.
The fifth-year veteran now reaches double digits in assists with his 10th helper of the season.
Ryley Lindgren effectively iced the game with his fifth of the season at 16:32, converting on a one-timer from a Colton Kroeker feed.
Watson scored his second goal in as many nights on the empty net to cap off the sweep of Lethbridge.
MRU are set to see the Regina Cougars in a rematch of the opening weekend to close their semester off while Lethbridge travel to UBC away from home to finish off their first half of the season.