Golden Bears rout Cougars in season-opener

Golden Bears rout Cougars in season-opener

EDMONTON - Seven different goal scorers found the scoresheet on Friday night, as the University of Alberta Golden Bears cruised to a 7-0 win over the Mount Royal Cougars in the season-opener at Clare Drake Arena. 

Steven Owre, Jamie Crooks, Cole Sanford, Tanner Clarkson, Stephane Legault, Tyson Baillie, and Cole Linaker all scored for the Golden Bears on Friday, while sophomore goalie Brendan Burke stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn his third career shutout. Wyatt Hofilin allowed four goals on 23 shots for the Cougars, while Colin Cooper allowed three third-period goals in relief. 

The defending Canada West champs wasted little time getting on the board, with Owre scoring his first as a Bear just four minutes into the opening frame. After taking a feed out front from Legault, Owre outwaited Hoflin, beating the veteran keeper short-side. 

Crooks doubled the lead in the later half of the first period, finishing off the rare two-on-none shorthanded breakaway with Luke Philp. The gorgeous feed from Philp would be the first of many, as the second-year forward finished with four assists and the games first star. 

Despite dominating the Cougars to start the second, Hoflin briefly kept his side in the game with some timely saves, including a five-alarm save on Sanford midway through the frame. However, the Bears persistence and puck possession dominance were too much for the Cougars to handle, as Sanford gave Alberta a 3-0 lead, before Clarkson made it 4-0 just 1:18 later.

A Cougar goalie change made little difference to the Cougars chances, as Cooper was pelted with 13 third-period shots, allowing Legault, Baillie, and Linaker to each score their first goals of the season. While Burke was fairly steady for the Golden Bears with 24 saves, the second-year goalie was never overly challenged, with his rebound control and positioning allowing him to earn the shutout. 

Along with the seven different goal scorers from Alberta, they also had seven players with multiple points, including Philps four, and a pair of assists from Trevor Cox. 

The Golden Bears (1-0-0) and Cougars (0-1-0) will continue their weekend series tomorrow afternoon, as they Cougars host the Golden Bears in Calgary in the second half of the home-and-home.