Cougars complete the weekend sweep of the Bisons with a 5-1 victory

Cougars complete the weekend sweep of the Bisons with a 5-1 victory

Ryan Stetler, Manitoba Bisons Sports Information

WINNIPEG – On Saturday Oct.15, the Manitoba Bisons played the Mount Royal Cougars in the second game of a two game series at the Wayne Fleming Arena. Mount Royal took this game by a score of 5-1 and moved to 2-0 while Manitoba falls to 0-2 on the season.

A dazzling rush from Connor Rankin at the 15:37 mark of the first period turned out to be the game winning goal for the Cougars as they put on a dominating display. 

"It's not the way we wanted to started the season, that's for sure," Bisons head coach Mike Sirant said post game. 

"We want to be a top three team, that is our goal for this year. This weekend is a reality check for us, Mount Royal is a top three team and that is the level we need to get to."

The game got off to a rather lackluster start as both teams looked a bit tired after Friday night's physical affair. Both teams struggled to get pucks out of their own end, with lots of bouncing pucks and miscued passes. 

The Bisons would find the back of the net first at the half way mark of the first through Remi Laurencelle after he finished a beautiful feed from Shaq Merasty on the rush. 

Mount Royal would come storming back and apply furious pressure, but were unable to find an equalizer. The Cougars would be rewarded after they worked a great cycle in the corner that ended with six-foot-four forward Bill Marshall burying the puck past Justin Paulic.

The Cougars added to their lead after Connor Rankin made a dazzling rush into the Bisons zone, getting past Garret Johnston with ease. He then cut across the crease, dragging Paulic with him but showing great patience he finished top shelf on the sprawling Bison goalie.

It would get worse for the home team, as the Cougars would make it 3-1 late in the first after Adam Henry made a great diving play to stop a 2-on-1 but to only have the puck stuffed in by first year forward Jamal Watson

The second period saw the physicality being ratcheted up, with Nick Zajac throwing his body around for the Bisons, generating some big hits. Rankin would score his second of the game two minutes into the period after picking up a loose puck at the half wall and taking it to the net and firing low blocker side on Paulic.

In the third period, the Mount Royal would continue to put the pedal to the medal and kept up their relentless forecheck. Watson would get his second of the night 12 minutes into the third period to put the final nail in the Bisons coffin.

"That's Mount Royal, they work very, very hard," Sirant said. "They don't take shifts off and they gave our defencemen a lot of trouble."

Cougar goalie Colin Cooper was not tested too much in this contest, but answered the call when he needed to, making 26 saves. Paulic was very busy, as Mount Royal were constantly in Manitoba's end wreaking havoc, he managed 29 saves on the afternoon.

Manitoba goes on the road next weekend to face the Regina Rams, while Mount Royal stays in Calgary to take on the Calgary Dinos on Oct.21-22.