Matt Johnson, Huskie Athletics
SASKATOON – In a battle between the two top teams in the conference the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men's hockey team picked up a win over their biggest rival, and also their 13th straight victory, with a 4-3 overtime win over the Alberta Golden Bears on Nov. 30 inside Merlis Belsher Place.
Logan McVeigh's game-winning goal happened just 1:22 into overtime, as he found the back of the net for the fourth time this season.
"We found a way, we persevered," said Huskies head coach Dave Adolph. "Logan McVeigh found his touch, I thought he was real good tonight."
Jaimen Yakubowski opened the scoring for the Huskies, while Alex Forsberg and Levi Cable also added goals in the win. McVeigh also added a helper to go along with his game-winning tally, while Kohl Bauml added two assists. Carson Stadnyk and Tanner Lishchynsky also added helpers.
Golden Bears forward Grayson Pawlenchuk managed to pot a loose puck with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime. Steven Orwe and Trevor Cox also added goals for the road side. Jason Fram added two assists on the night, as he extended his lead in points among Canada West defencemen with his 13th and 14th helpers of the season. Luke Philp and Stephsne Legault also added assists.
Taran Kozun moved to 10-1 on the season, as he kicked aside 28 of the 31 shots fired his way for Saskatchewan.
Zach Sawchenko lost his first game since Oct. 26, as he turned away 28 of 31 shots on the night for Alberta.
With the win, Saskatchewan jumps to 14-1 on the season, while Alberta picks up a single point and moves to 11-3-1.
Midway through the first period, Yakubowski opened the scoring as he beat Sawchenko and provided Saskatchewan with the all-important first goal of the hockey game, to put his team up, 1-0.
Two Golden Bears penalties in a 23-second span allowed the Huskies to head on a five-on-three man advantage, however the home side was unable to convert on the powerplay, with the best chance coming shorthanded as Philp broke in down the wing and fired a slapshot, forcing Kozun to make a timely pad save.
Late in the first period, Wyatt Johnson was looking to extend Saskatchewan's lead to two, but Sawchenko flashed the leather and made a huge stop on the Huskies third-year forward to keep his team within a goal.
In the final minute of the first, Alberta unleashed an onslaught of scoring opportunities, but Kozun weathered the storm and allowed his team to enter the intermission with the lead.
Through twenty minutes of play, the Huskies outshot the Golden Bears 9-6.
Alberta tied the game up just 1:17 into the second period, as Philp sent a cross-seam pass over to Cox who wired home the equalizer on the powerplay.
However, Saskatchewan was quick to respond when Stadnyk set Alex Forsberg up and the forward from Waldheim, SK made no mistake from all alone in front of the Alberta net.
The Huskies extended their lead just 1:11 later. Cable walked in alone and roofed a short-side snipe over the right shoulder of Sawchenko to give the Huskies a 3-1 lead.
In the third period, Alberta took control of the game and they were rewarded for their efforts.
At the 8:55 mark of the final frame, Owre broke in shorthanded and beat Kozun to bring the Golden Bears back within one.
Late in the hockey game, the road side was hunting for the tying goal. After the Huskies were unable to find the back of the net on a pair of empty net opportunities, the Golden Bears took advantage.
Alberta held the zone and with just 2.4 seconds left in regulation, Pawlenchuk was able to play the hero as he managed to bury the loose puck and send the game to overtime.
Just 40 seconds into overtime, Owre wired a wrist shot off iron, but as so often happens, the play went the other way and into Golden Bears territory. McVeigh entered the zone and snuck a shot past Sawchenko to give the Huskies the win in an overtime thriller.
The game was a renewal of their rivalry as they faced off for the third time of the season, after the green and white were able to split the season-opening series in Edmonton earlier this year..
The last time a team other than the Huskies or Golden Bears won the Canada West Championship was in the 1995-96 season, and each club appears set to make another deep run at the title this season with the teams sitting first and second in the conference.
The two clubs will face off for the second time in as many nights tomorrow at Merlis Belsher Place at 7:00 p.m., as the Huskies look to pull off the sweep of the Golden Bears.