WINNIPEG — A Brooks Maxwell short-handed goal in the opening minute of the third period proved to be the difference on Sunday afternoon at Wayne Fleming Arena as the Lethbridge Pronghorns topped Manitoba 5-4 in an offensive outburst to earn a weekend split to open the season.
The opening 20 minutes were high-octane, with both teams finding the back of the net twice.
It didn’t take the Pronghorns long to open the scoring, as forward Torrin White rushed past the Bisons defence on a broken play, going high backhand near the crease at just 1:16.
Manitoba responded just over minute later. Ryan Carlson used his speed and strong hands to rush down the half wall, beating three defenders as well as Pronghorns goalie Taz Burman five hole to level the score.
The hosts then took the lead for the first time with 10:20 to play, as forward Colton Veloso got an excellent lead pass off the boards from captain Adam Henry and turned on the jets at the blue line, going forehand to backhand on a partial breakaway.
After a power play equalizer late in the first for Lethbridge, special teams was the story of the second period, as both teams scored twice on the power play.
Lethbridge made the score 3-2 six minutes into play courtesy of an excellent shot from Mike Clarke, who went top shelf. The Bisons responded on a five-on-three two minutes later though, as Henry fed alternate captain Jonah Wasylak, who went top corner himself to tie the contest.
Manitoba got another two man advantage around the midway mark of the middle frame and found the back of the net as the second penalty neared its end. Henry undressed a Pronghorns player near the left face-off circle and finished things off forehand-backhand with 8:43 to go.
The Pronghorns had an answer however, as forward Landon Gross deflected a shot from the blue and in on a Bisons double minor with two minutes left to level the score entering the third period.
Maxwell recorded the game-winner on his second short handed breakaway of the game after being stopped earlier on by Brown.
Next up for Manitoba is a road tilt against Mount Royal while Lethbridge will host Regina.