Connor Hood, Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON - Despite giving up the game-tying goal with 0.7 seconds left in the the third, the Alberta Golden Bears responded in overtime, giving them a 5-4 win over the Manitoba Bisons on Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Luke Philp scored twice, including the winner in OT, as the Bears earned their 14th conference win. The heartbreaking loss for Manitoba, who overcame a 4-2 deficit with two goals in the final four minutes, is their 14th this season.
Stephane Legault, Brandon Magee and Cole Sanford also scored for Alberta, who won three of the four conference meetings with the Bisons this season. Kenny Cameron made 23 saves on 27 shots for his third win of the season.
Zach Franko, Jonah Wasylak, Jeremy Leipsic and Adam Henry found the scoresheet for the Bisons, while goalie Byron Spriggs turned in another solid effort with 30 saves.
Alberta opened the game with numerous scoring changes, but Spriggs was stellar early, making 14 saves in the first. Sanford finally got the Bears on the board late, beating Spriggs on his third rebound opportunity.
Legault doubled the lead early in the second, scoring his second of the season immediately off a faceoff win. That 2-0 lead get evaporated before the second period was over, as Franko cut the Bears lead in half just 28 seconds later, before Wasylak beat Cameron over the shoulder to tie the game at two late in the second.
Alberta regained their two goal lead thanks to tallies by Philp and Magee early in the third. The Bears seemed in control of the game with four minutes left, holding a 4-2 lead and a heavy shot advantage. However, Leipsic gave the Bisons a glimmer of hope with his goal at 16:27, before Henry quieted the Clare Drake Arena crowd with a stunner with less than one second left.
The heroic comeback fell just short, as Philp potted his second of the game on a two-on-one rush three minutes into overtime.
The 14-3-1 Bears will travel to UBC next weekend, while the 3-14-1 Bisons will return home for a series against Mount Royal.