It was a rough game for both teams, but in the end, the Golden Bears came out on top with a 3-1 win Friday over the Mount Royal Cougars.
The Bears’ game got off to a lucky start when players wiped out in front of the MRU goaltender and Burke Gallimore managed to put the puck in the net for his first goal as a Golden Bear.
It was followed with a goal by Jordan Hickmott in the second period. However, the Cougars fought back throughout the second, and MRU forward Brenden Turnbull managed to find the back of the net as the result of a bad turnover. A final goal from Alberta’s Kruise Reddick ended the game on a high note for U of A fans.
“They found a way to get two points, even though Mount Royal plays hard,” Bears head coach Ian Herbers said. “We just weren’t as sharp as we were against Manitoba, but that comes with having that extra week off.”
Mount Royal University head coach Jean LaForest disagreed with Herbers, saying he thought his team should have competed harder against the Bears.
“I didn’t think we showed up to play at all tonight,” Laforest said. “When you’re playing against a very good team, you have to.”
Both coaches admit that their teams had a slow pace, making it tough to watch sometimes. Luckily for the fans, both coaches hope to pick up the pace for Saturday’s game at the Flames Community Arena in Calgary.
Penalty kills were strong for both teams as no power play goals were scored throughout the game, despite a number of opportunities. MRU had a chance when Bears forward Burke Gallimore was sent to the penalty box on a double minor for highsticking, drawing blood on MRU’s Nathan MacMaster. This opportunity was negated a minute into the four-minute penalty when MRU’s Devin Gannon was sent to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Even though both teams had similar weaknesses Friday night, the scoreboard showed the crowd that the Bears were playing more aggressively and succeeding in keeping the puck down in the MRU end.
“When you outshoot a team that badly, you should be pretty happy with yourself,” Bears forward Kruise Reddick said after Alberta outshot the Cougars 42-16.
The Bears were much more successful in maintaining control of the puck than the Cougars, one of the biggest factors in their victory.
Laforest noted that his team was “hoping that something crazy would happen when they’d make a pass instead of playing it safe.” Because of the Bears’ overpowering offense, the Cougars’ star player turned out to be goalie Dalyn Flette.
Both teams will be focusing on their puck control and game pace for Saturday’s game, and are hoping to improve on Friday’s performance.
“That’s the nice thing about sports — you get to redeem yourself in your next game. That’s what tomorrow night is about for us,” Laforest said.
“We look forward to tomorrow’s game because we have a chance to show them our A-Game,” Herbers added.
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