Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY - Mount Royal Cougars hosted the second half of opening weekend of the young Canada West season against prestigious Alberta Golden Bears, dropping the rubber match 5-1.
The Golden Bears offence picked up directly from where they left, playing relentlessly all game and like the formidable squad they are, never letting the foot off the gas.
Seconds inside puck-drop, the visiting Edmonton side snuck a goal in as the fans were still taking seats.
Tanner Clarkson got in between the Cougar defence in the slot and danced his way around Wyatt Hoflin, tucking the puck on the sprawling goalie whilst falling on the ground himself.
The second year Hoflin got peppered early on in the game, stopping sure opportunity at every turn.
Cougar net minder stood his ground throughout the game, keeping the game from getting out of hand, stopping 33 sure goals from going in as a well-oiled Alberta team had chances better than the ones previous.
The offensive onslaught kept coming from the visiting team as the period progressed.
Graeme Craig slid a slapshot between the wickets of Hoflin five minutes later to double the Golden Bears lead.
Cole Sanford then later capitalized on a powerplay, wiring a shot past Hoflin after receiving a cross-crease pass from Luke Philp.
Philp now has five assists in two games.
Golden Bears took a 3-0 lead heading into the first break.
Later on in the second, Nick Charif killed any signs of MRU momentum.
Charif hopped on a loose puck, turned on the jets and pulled a nifty move on Hoflin who caught the puck while sprawling on the ice on the goal line but the referee awarded the goal.
Less than two minutes have gone by, Jaime Crooks got in on the action netting his own powerplay goal, the Bears took a 5-0 lead into the second break.
MRU found the back of the net for the first time this season when Hunter Zandee snuck a one-timed effort past rookie Zach Sawchenko.
The first-year rookie coming out of Moose Jaw only faced twelve shots in the contest in his first career CIS start.
Rought and dirty played carried into the final period with a total of 38 minutes being racked up from both teams.
A frustrated Cougar side now drop to 0-0-2 to start the season while the Bears rack up 12 goals in two nights and improve to 2-0-0 in their first contest.
Golden Bears bench boss Serge Lajoie was pleased with his team performance stating "It was curious to see how our guys would respond this early in the season, we know playing MRU with Bert Gilling they're always well coached. It was a good test but I was very happy with how our guys played tonight,"
MRU host a doubleheader against the Regina Cougars on October 13th scheduled for 6 pm and 3 pm on the 14th.
Alberta travels to Manitoba and plays a two-game visit against the Bisons on October 13th and 14th as well, puck drops ready for 7 pm and 5 pm.
Bears sweep home-and-home against Cougars, pick up 5-1 win in rubber match
Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics