Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON – Jamie Crooks proved once again to be a Cougar killer, scoring another two goals as the University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey team defeated the Regina Cougars 5-2, Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
It was the fourth-year forwards second-straight two goal performance, and gives the veteran 13 goals in 20 conference games. Tyson Baillie, Cole Sanford, and Riley Kieser also scored for Alberta on Saturday. Brendan Burke stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced to earn his fourth win of the season.
Stephen Langford and Logan Harland, meanwhile, scored for Regina.
1. Tyson Baillie – One goal, one assist
2. Jamie Crooks – Two goals, including one shorthanded
3. Cole Sanford – One goal and six shots
Despite entering the tilt as a heavy underdog, sitting in the basement of Canada West, and coming off 6-2 loss the previous night, it was the Cougars who opened the scoring on Saturday. After a dump-in caught Burke reaching outside his net, Langford was able to grab the loose puck off the glass and beat the rookie net-minder for his second of the season.
That lead would be short lived, as a Sanford marker three minutes later would even the score. Sanford's snipe, on the powerplay no less, was his also first career goal.
The Bears took the lead three minutes into the second, as Kieser was able to beat MacAuley off a Bears two-on-one rush. Kieser's tally was also his second straight game with a goal, after going five without one. Regina was able to tie the game at 11:24 of the second, once again catching Burke out of position in his net. This time it was his own defender knocking him off his feet, allowing Harland to tap in his fourth of the season.
It was a gaff on their own powerplay that cost the Cougars late in the second, as Crooks' late period shorthanded tally gave them a 3- lead, and was also the team's second straight game with a SHG. The beautifully executed one-timer was the Golden Bears conference-leading nine shorthanded goal, in just 20 games.
Baillie earned his third-straight multi-point game with his goal in the third, blowing a bullet past MacAuley from the point. Crooks sealed the Alberta win with an empty net goal in the dying seconds.
The win pushes Alberta into sole possession of second in the Canada West standings with a 13-6-1 record and 27 points. Regina falls to 3-16-1, and a full 12 points behind Lethbridge for the final playoff spot.
Alberta will be back in action next week, as they play the Calgary Dinos in a home-and-home series.