Nicole Betker, University of Saskatchewan
SASKATOON – Two second period goals lifted the No. 2 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies to a 2-1 win over the visiting No. 5 ranked Mount Royal University Cougars Friday night in Saskatoon's Rutherford Rink.
The win gives Saskatchewan a cushion at the top of the tight Canada West men's hockey standings at 12-3-2. Mount Royal drops to 11-6-0. Four teams – the Huskies, MRU Cougars, Alberta Golden Bears and Calgary Dinos – entered the first weekend of the second half of the season separated by just three points.
Jesse Forsberg gave the Huskies the 1-0 lead after his one-timer from a Colin Cooper long rebound found the top of the Cougars net at 4:31 into the second period. Michael Sofillas put Saskatchewan ahead 2-0 on the power play at 14:11 in the same frame. His shot from the right faceoff circle slipped by Cooper glove side.
Mount Royal broke up the Huskies shutout at 8:01 in the third. Cam Maclise's wrist shot slipped by Jordon Cooke glove side.
The Cougars looked as if they had tied the game with 14 seconds left to force overtime, but Devin Gannon's tipped puck hit the goal post and bounced out of the crease.
Cooper finished the night making 27 saves for the Cougars, while Cooke stopped 33 at the other end of the ice for the Huskies.
The two nationally ranked teams will battle again Saturday night at Rutherford Rink. Puck drop is 7 p.m.