Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
LETHBRIDGE, Alta – Breaking open a tie game with three goals in just over a three minute span late in the second period, the Lethbridge Pronghorns men's hockey team completed the weekend sweep of the Regina Cougars with a 6-1 win.
The win improves the Pronghorns record to 7-9-2 on the season and increases the Pronghorns lead over the Cougars and Bisons to nine points for the final playoff spot with 10 games to play. The Bisons will play later this evening in Edmonton versus the Alberta Golden Bears.
With the loss Regina drops to 3-14-1.
Senior forward Justin Valentino lead the way for the Pronghorns with two goals and two assists. Torrin White had a goal and two assists, while Connor Sanvido and Evan Wardley scored the Pronghorns other goals.
Making his second consecutive start, Garret Hughson made 43 saves to pick up his seventh win of the season.
Zach MacPhee picked up the lone Cougar goal and Dawson MacAuley turned aside 34 shots for the Cougars.
On the game's first power play 12 minutes into the period, the Pronghorn unique five forward power play unit capitalized as it did Friday night. Torrin White was on the receiving end of a cross ice pass from Russ Maxwell and deftly deflected the pass over MacAuley's shoulder to open the scoring.
The Cougars had a late two-man advantage for more than 30-second and were able to cash in with their first power play goal of the weekend. Zach McPhee was johnny on the spot to bang home a rebound off a Tyler King point shot to send the game into the intermission tied at one.
While there was no further scoring through the first 15 minutes of the second period it wasn't for the lack of opportunities, as the teams traded multiple odd man rushes but neither team was able to beat the opposing goaltender.
However only minutes later, the flood gates for the Pronghorns opened with three goals in a span of just over three minutes. On a delayed Cougar penalty, the Pronghorns were finally able to retake the lead. Brooks Maxwell found Connor Sanvido alone in front, who made no mistake potting his third of the season.
Less than two minutes later, White sprung Valentino on a breakaway and he snapped home his second of the weekend and sixth of the season.
Rounding out the scoring flurry, White and Valentino combined to set up defenseman Evan Wardley for his first of the season to give the Pronghorns a 4-1 lead though 40 minutes. Joining the rush late, Valentino found the Wardley high in the slot and he snapped a shot off the crossbar and in.
While shorthanded four-on-three, Valentino upped the Pronghorns lead to 5-1 on a breakaway three minutes into the third. On his second breakaway in only minutes, Valentino ripped a shot over MacAuley's blocker for his second goal and fourth point of the afternoon.
With the man advantage late in the third period, Ryan Chynoweth deflected home the Pronghorns sixth goal of the game and his second in as many games to round out the scoring.
Up next for the Pronghorns is a home-and-home series with the Calgary Dinos beginning Thursday night in Lethbridge. Thursday night's game will be contested at Enmax Centre and is free for University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College students. The Cougars will also face a home-and-home series in their next action, hosting the Saskatchewan Huskies next Friday night.
Photo by: MPP Photography