Written by: Adrian McMorris
WINNIPEG - The University of Manitoba Bisons men's hockey team looked to bounce back from Friday's loss to the #6 University of Alberta Golden Bears when they took to the ice at Wayne Fleming Arena for the second game of their weekend series. The Bisons came back to down the Golden Bears 2-1 on Saturday, Feb. 11 night.
The University of Manitoba now sit at 14-12-2 and the Golden Bears are 18–8-2 as the Herd finally beat the Golden Bears for the first time this season.
The Bisons were all business after celebrating their three graduating players prior to Saturday's matchup. The Herd were able to down the second ranked team in the conference to end the regular season on a high note.
In the third, Manitoba captain Jordan DePape, first star, scored his team-leading 12th of the season when he fired a slap shot on the power play past Siemens to give his team a 2-1 lead that would inevitably be the final score. Alberta captain Brennan Yadlowski took an undisciplined interference penalty with 15:52 left in the final period and Manitoba made him pay just 20 seconds later. This was DePape's final regular season goal as a Bison.
"The guys played great tonight, they showed perseverance and they deserve this win. We're really happy for DePape to get the winning goal, Spriggs played great and we're looking forward to making a run in the playoffs next week," said Manitoba Head Coach, Mike Sirant.
Byron Spriggs stretched out and flashed his glove to stop a great opportunity by Dylan Bredo with one minute left in the game to hold onto the 2-1 win. Springs made 34 saves for second star selection.
Ryan Rehill (third star) scored his third of the year and put Alberta up by one, burying a wrist shot from the point with 11:26 left in the first period lifting the puck over Spriggs' right pad, six seconds after Liam Bilton took a tripping penalty at 11:32 in the first period.
Brett Dudar had a breakaway late in the first with a bouncing puck and in an attempt to equalize the game before the period ended, dropped the puck to Shaq Merasty who fumbled it and sent it just wide.
The first period drew to an end with the Golden Bears up 1-0.
Springs kept the game close snagging Trevor Cox's attempt out of the air after Cox had plenty of time to make it a two goal game with 13 minutes left in the second.
The animosity that was present during last night's game showed little sings of slowing down. Retaliation, hard bodychecks and players yelling at one another were a common sight. The Bisons penalty kill unit came up big late in the second period, killing off a crucial five-on-three opportunity for the Golden Bears to keep the game close.
The Bisons tied up the game thanks to Jonah Wasylak's wrist shot that just squeezed through Siemens to tie the game up at one as the second period came to a close. Liam Bilton and Brett Brooks got the assists on the play. Siemens finished with 20 saves in the loss.
The Herd will head to Calgary for their series against Mount Royal in the conference quarter-final best-of-three series starting on Friday, February 17. The Golden Bears will wait for their opponent as the Bears have earned themselves a bye through the first round and will take to the ice the weekend of February 24.