EDMONTON – Sophomore sniper Jayden Hart continued his torch across Canada West, scoring two shorthanded goals, including the game winner in a University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey 5-2 win over the Manitoba Bisons, Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Tyson Baillie, Dylan Bredo and Jamie Crooks also scored for the Bears on Saturday, while Luke Siemens stopped 27 of 29 shots he faced for his sixth-straight win. Shaq Merasty and Justin Augert scored for Manitoba. Crook's empty net goal in the third period was also a shorthanded goal, giving the Bears three on the night.
With the win, the Bears have now won eight of their past nine contests, and move into first place in Canada West with a 9-3-0 record, passing the Saskatchewan Huskies. Manitoba, meanwhile, slips to 5-7-0 while remaining in sixth place with 10 points.
NEED to know: Jayden Hart now leads Canada West with 11 goals in 12 games, recording three goals and five points in the weekend sweep of Manitoba. With the three point effort, Hart has surpassed his point total from last season, as he had 15 points in 26 games.
- Alberta: Jayden Hart – Two shorthanded goals (including the GWG), one assist, and a +3 rating
- Alberta: Jamie Crooks - One goal, two assists and two shots
- Alberta: Trevor Cox – Two assists and three shots
Baillie opened the scoring midway through the first period, taking advantage of a bizarre bounce off the glass from the Trevor Cox point shot, and taping the rebound into the wide open Manitoba net. Neither team scored again in the first, with the Bears holding a comfortable 11-5 shot lead.
Hart scored his first of the night midway through the second, finishing off a perfectly executed three-on-two on the Manitoba powerplay, roofing his shot off a Crooks pass from the top of the circle.
Manitoba, however, quickly responded, tying the game with two goals in 33 seconds. Merasty opened the flurry with his fourth of the season, tipping in the Lee Christensen point shot past a fooled Siemens. Augert tied the game with his eighth, driving wide around the Bears defence, and roofing a gorgeous backhand over Siemens.
The 2-2 goal was short-lived, as the Bears responded with two quick tallied of their own to regain the lead. Hart scored his second shortie of the night, this time wiring a shot directly off the Crooks faceoff win past Justin Paulic. Bredo restored the two goal lead two minutes later, capping off a tremendous rush by rookie Trevor Cox by blowing a point shot over Paulic's glove.
Manitoba pressed hard in the third, but couldn't beat Siemens on any of their 13 final period shots. Crooks capped off the game with another shorthanded goal into an empty net.
The Golden Bears and Bisons will resume conference action next week, as the Bears travel to Lethbridge to battle the Pronghorns, while Manitoba heads home for a meeting with the Huskies.
Connor Hood - U of A Athletics