Eoin Colquhoun, Pronghorn Athletics
Lethbridge – Looking to sweep the third ranked Alberta Golden Bears, the Lethbridge Pronghorns ran into a hot goaltender as first-year netminder Brendan Burke backstopped the Golden Bears to a 5-0 victory.
Burke was sharp from the opening face-off and stopped all 27 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. The Bears scored once in the first and twice in each of the final two periods to skate to their 10th win of the season.
The loss snaps the 'Horns three game winning streak and drops their record to 6-5-3 on the season.
Following a thrilling 3-2 Pronghorn overtime win Friday night, the Pronghorns and Bears picked up right where they left off from the previous night's game with a highly spirited and fast paced game.
Off the opening face-off, the 'Horns were the benefactors of a gratuitous break after a Bears defender stumbled just outside his own blue line. Cory Millette and Dalton Sward broke in on a two-on-one but Brendan Burke made a great save to turn Millette away.
While the 'Horns had the better of the opportunities early in the game, it would be the Bears that would hit the scoresheet first just shy of the seven minute mark. Graeme Craig's point shot eluded Garrett Hughson low glove through traffic.
Like the 1-0 score, shots after the first favoured the Bears 13-11.
The second period shifted in the Bears favour with two second period goals. Tyson Bailie was Johnny on the spot to pick a rebound and bang home his eighth of the season just before the five minute mark of the period.
Luke Phillip would add to the Bears lead tipping home a Brennan Yadlowski point shot to put the Bears up 3-0.
Despite the score, the 'Horns were not without their chances in the period but Burke was solid between the pipes, turning aside quality chances from Jay Merkley, Tim Campbell and Russ Maxwell.
After only five penalties total the previous night, the second period saw a parade to the penalty box by both teams, with the 'Horns taking five second period penalties, however the 'Horns did a great job keeping the conference's top power play off the scoreboard.
The Bears took three second period penalties but the 'Horns were not able to take advantage.
Looking to cut into the Bears lead in the third, the 'Horns found themselves with a rare four-on-three power play early but the Bears penalty killing did a great job getting into shooting lanes and keeping the Pronghorns off the scoreboard.
On one of the rare shots that eluded Bears goaltender Burke on this night, Mitch Maxwell nearly cut the lead to two with 13 minutes to play but his snap shot rang of the iron.
Still pushing forward, looking for their first goal of the game, the 'Horns carried the play in the front half of the third but Burke had an answer for every Pronghorn shot.
After holding the Bears potent power play off the board for almost two full games, the Bears added to their lead on their sixth power play of the night. Ryan Rehill put a slap shot from the point off the post and in.
Just over a minute later, Craig picked up the Bears' fifth goal of the game to round out the scoring.
Garrett Hughson finished the night with 28 saves in the loss.
The 'Horns will head out on the road next weekend, traveling to Regina Cougars in their final Canada West action before the semester break. The Bears will remain on the road next weekend, traveling to Saskatoon to face the Saskatchewan Huskies in a matchup of the top two teams in the conference.