Wriiten by: Mike Still
WINNIPEG – Warren Callis' tally at 9:13 of the first period was all the University of Manitoba Bisons needed as they topped the Calgary Dinos 3-1 in men's hockey at Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday, February 19 night to take a 1-0 series lead in their Canada West conference quarter-final best-of-three playoff series matchup.
The home side was heavily outshot but capitalized on their opportunities. Justin Paulic also stood tall in net for Manitoba, stopping 33 of 34 shots.
Despite the win, Bisons head coach Mike Sirant is still expecting more from his squad for tomorrow, specifically in terms of their physicality.
"That was an intense game," Sirant said postgame. "Calgary played a very good game, they played fast, they played physical. We have to step up on our physicality for tomorrow [ . . . ] We've got that one game of experience behind our belt and we're expecting that we'll be better tomorrow."
The Dinos dictated the pace of the play in the opening period – managing 12 shots to the Bison's two – however it was the Herd who led 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes. Callis scored his first of the playoffs thanks to some hard work behind the net by Joel Schreyer. He was able to fight off a Calgary player and dish the puck to Lee Christensen at the blue line who then found Callis for the finish.
The visitors had plenty of chances to even the score, including a shot that went five-hole through the pads of Justin Paulic, however Justin Augert was able to steer the biscuit clear of the line.
Two goals within the first three minutes of the middle frame gave Manitoba a commanding three goal lead.
Shaq Merasty started things off at 1:54, using his six-foot-five frame to get position just outside the crease, and tapping in his own rebound. Less than a minute later, Brett Brooks made it 3-0, bursting to Calgary goalie Steven Stanford's left and scoring on a nifty wraparound.
The Prehistorics would get on the board at the 7:00 mark when forward Elgin Pearce cruised around the faceoff circle and undressed Paulic, going top shelf.
The majority of the final 13 minutes were spent in the home side's zone, however the Dinos were unable to narrow the two-goal gap.
Both squads had their opportunities in the final 20 minutes but neither team was able to find the back of the net as Paulic and Stanford stood tall. The visitors had the best overall scoring chance of the third at the nine-minute mark, however Paulic was able to slide cross-crease to make a nice pad save.
Manitoba will look to sweep Calgary and move onto the conference semi-finals tomorrow night (Sat., Feb. 20) in game two, with action starting at 7 p.m. CT.
Score by period
MB: Joel Schreyer (2A), Warren Callis (1G), Shaq Merasty (1G), Brett Brookjs (1G)
CGY: Elgin Pearce (1G), Kevin King (1A)