Golden Bears Hockey
The Bears opened their 100th season Friday night at the Clare Drake Arena with a 4-2 victory over the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Bisons were last season’s Canada West regular season champions, but were stifled by a Golden Bears defence that allowed 22 shots compared to a staggering 49 shots for the Bears.
Alberta was led by sophomore forward Jordan Hickmott who scored two goals in the first period to put his team up 3-1 going into the first intermission, a lead the Bears never gave up. Sophomore forward Levko Koper added two assists while Kurtis Mucha got the start in goal, making 17 saves for the win. On the opposite side of the ice, third-year Manitoba goalie Joe Caligiuri made 43 saves.
Manitoba looked to get the better of Alberta to start their second game of the weekend however. The Bisons opened the game with a 16-11 shot advantage at the end of the first period and a 2-1 lead. However Alberta stormed back in a big way with three goals scored in each of the remaining periods to win 7-2.
Third-year forward and Winnipeg native Johnny Lazo potted the game-winning goal while piling up three points that night. Fellow Bears players Thomas Carr, Kruise Reddick and captain Greg Gardner all chipped in three points as well. The game ended with Alberta accumulating 48 shots on goal to Manitoba’s 34.
After taking next weekend off, the Bears will face Mount Royal University for the first time in regular season action in a home-and-home series Oct. 12-13. Meanwhile the Bisons will attempt to recover when they host the defending CanWest champions, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
Golden Bears Soccer
The top-ranked Golden Bears suffered their first loss of the season on the soccer pitch in a close 1-0 game against the University of Victoria. Going into the game, the Bears were ranked first in the country with an undefeated 5-0 record that had seen them shutout each team they played. However, the Bears had accumulated this record against some of the CanWest’s weaker teams. Victoria, on the other hand, are the defending national champions.
Both teams went scoreless during the first half until Victoria’s Craig Gorman scored early in the second for a 1-0 lead that would be all the Vikes would need for the win. Victoria’s Elliot Mitrou made nine saves for the shutout, leading his team to improve to a .500 record of 3-3-1.
The Bears followed their first losing effort of the season with their first tie of the season. Alberta tied the University of Fraser Valley Cascades 1-1 on Saturday night to finish the weekend with a record of 5-1-1. The Cascades were able to score in the final minute of the game to force a tie, thanks to a penalty shot taken by Sasa Plavsic
Eddy Sidra set up Cameron Schmidt for Alberta’s lone goal of the game against UFV keeper Mark Village, who faced 11 shots on goal. The game was a more physical one than Alberta has been used to this year with six yellow cards handed out and more than 20 fouls called over the course of the night. The Bears will look to get back into the win column in two games against the University of Saskatchewan next weekend who are now tied for first place with Alberta in the CanWest’s Prairie Division with identical 5-1-1 records.
Golden Bears Football
The University of Alberta Golden Bears weren’t able to pull themselves out of their losing streak that now stretches back to November, 2010, in a 29-10 loss to UBC. Both teams entered the game with identical 0-4 records, sharing last place in the CanWest conference, however, it was the Thunderbirds who were able to get their first win of the season.
Key turnovers in a fumble and interception given up by the Bears in their first two possession of the game led to 14 points scored against them early in the game. The T-Birds went into halftime with a 22-0 lead and never looked back. The Bears defence didn’t have an answer for UBC quarterback Billy Greene who ran for 116 yards and a touchdown in just the first half, or running back Brandon Deschamps who scored two touchdowns off of 94 rushing yards.
The Bears were able to get on the scoreboard late in the game and found the endzone when backup quarterback Ryan Schwartz -— who replaced Curtis Dell partway through the second half — found receiver Ryley Richardson for a 13-yard touchdown with 43 seconds remaining in the game. The momentum Alberta had with an offence that looked to have been improving over the past two weeks against Regina and Manitoba, stalled against UBC on Saturday afternoon when despite a first half possession time of 19:33, the Bears weren’t able to score on the Thunderbirds.
After a bye week next weekend, the Bears will host the University of Calgary Dinos at 7 pm on Oct. 12. The Bears will need to find an answer for their offensive woes after the last meeting between the two teams saw Calgary get a 65-6 blowout victory over Alberta.
The University of Alberta’s other soccer team was more successful in their attempt to stay undefeated this weekend with a 6-0 victory over the UNBC Timberwolves on Sunday at Foote Field.
Alberta was once again led by third-year forward Kayla Michaels and fifth-year midfielder Carleigh Miller who combined for three goals and six points. Both players are among the top ten in the Canada West conference in goals and points this season. The Pandas were backed up by third-year goalkeeper Kelti Biggs who earned her third shutout of the year. The Pandas sent 24 shots on goal in their dominating win.
The Pandas’ record now improves to 4-0-2 while sitting in fifth place in the CanWest. Meanwhile, UNBC remains winless with a record falls to 0-6-1. The Timberwolves have been outscored 34-1 through their first six games of the season. The Pandas will next host Trinity Western University and UBC who sit first and third respectively in the CanWest next weekend at noon on Oct. 6-7.
The Pandas rugby squad got off to a solid start with a pair of games against their B.C. opponents. Alberta has never lost to Victoria or UBC in rugby and continued this trend with a pair of victories this weekend.
The ninth-ranked Pandas started the weekend with a win on Friday over the University of Victoria by a wide margin of 48-0. Pandas veteran players came through for them, scoring 24 points each half against the more inexperienced Vikes team. On Sunday, the Pandas scored 53 unanswered points to defeat the UBC Thunderbirds by an even larger margin of 58-3. Jen Cousineau, Louise Chavarie and Paige Farries each contributed two tries while UBC’s only three points came from a penalty goal in the first half.
The Pandas will finish their season two weeks from now with a weekend in southern Alberta against the University of Calgary and the defending CanWest champions from the University of Lethbridge.
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