Justin McCaffrey, Mount Royal Sports Information
CALGARY – A four-goal second period vaulted Mount Royal to a 6-0 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies, Friday night at Flames Community Arenas. Colin Cooper made 28 saves to record his first shutout of the 2016-17 season.
The game got off to an extremely choppy start as both teams looked to be wary after a long ceremony to commemorate Remembrance Day. The Huskies took advantage of the sleepy Cougars and tested sophomore goalie Colin Cooper.
Cooper remained sharp in the Cougars' goal and actually swung the momentum after a great pad save on a 2-on-1. Mount Royal took the puck the other way and sustained a good amount of pressure to close out the period.
With a single second left in the game first, Emerson Hrynyk of Mount Royal caught Jaimen Yakubowski with an awkward hit, sending him into the boards. Yakubowski had to be helped off the ice and Hrynyk was given five and a game.
Mount Royal caught a break early in their penalty kill when Saskatchewan took a penalty to salvage two minutes of four-on-four. The Cougars skated the Huskies into the ground four-on-four and by the time the penalty was over, they had nothing left on the man advantage.
Shortly after the penalty expired, Jamal Watson chipped the puck off the boards to center. Connor Rankin made a slick play to steal the puck from the defender and broke in two-on-one with Cam Maclise. Rankin looked shoot all the way and then at the last second threw it to Maclise who tapped it in to put Mount Royal up by a goal.
Minutes later the Cougars' fourth line got on the board. Luke Simpson picked off a bad pass up the middle and ripped a wrist shot over the glove of Jordan Cooke to extend the Cougars' lead to two.
Jesse Lees made it 3-0 on another great setup from Connor Rankin. Rankin broke into the Huskies' zone and curled at the line. Rankin found Lees coming in off the point and made a perfect pass right on his tape. Lees outwaited the defender and blew it right by the ear of Cooke to extend the lead.
Jamal Watson then scored the nicest goal of his young career to put the Cougars up 4-0. Watson stole the puck in the Huskies' zone and then walked the blue line. He waited and waited before finally pulling the trigger in the high slot. For the third time in a row, Cooke was beaten high glove.
The Cougars (5-2-0) now trail the Huskies (6-2-1) by three points for first place in the conference despite playing two fewer games.
The Cougars and Huskies will play the second game of their weekend series tomorrow night at Flames Community Arenas. Puck drop is set for 6pm MST.