The Golden Bears hockey team played their last weekend at Clare Drake Arena before the team heads into playoffs. Facing the University of Regina’s Cougars on January 27, the Bears finished the third period 2-2, before the Cougars scored in overtime, ending the game at 2-3. The Bears came back strong on January 28, finishing the game 8-4.
Friday January 27 night’s game saw the Bears’ second loss to the Cougars since 2009, ending as Regina’s Jayden Davis took the winning goal in overtime. The Cougars also scored the first goal of the game, as Matt Culling received a pass from behind the net, tucking the puck behind Alberta goaltender, Ethan Kruger, less than five minutes into the first period. The Bears took three penalties in the first period, but managed to hold the score at 0-1 for the Cougars.
There were two goals in the second, the first from Bears Jakin Smallwood, rushing to the net, then switching to his backhand to tuck the puck behind Cougars goalie, Adam Evanoff. The second goal of the period — and the team’s second of the game — was scored shorthanded by Eric Pearce, off a pass from Tyler Heidt. The period ended at 1-2, in favour of the Cougars.
The final period of regulation saw one goal from Alberta’s Nolan Volcan, off a pass from Tyler Preziuso in the corner. Volcan’s goal tied the teams at 2-2, where the third period would end, forcing the teams into overtime.
Unfortunately for the Bears, less than two minutes into the overtime period, Davis snuck past the Bears defense, and flipped the puck over Kruger’s pad, ending the game at 2-3 for Regina.
On Saturday January 28, while Bears goalie Matt Berlin took the net for the Oilers, the Bears took a four-point lead over the Cougars. The first period saw Matt Fonteyne kick off a Bears rally with a one-timer goal.
After Fonteyne’s first goal, the Cougars’ Davis scored backhanded on a breakaway against Kruger. However, shortly after, Fonteyne scored bar-down on a penalty shot, followed quickly with goals from Preziuso and Justin Hall. Under five minutes after Fonteyne’s first goal, the Bears ended the first period at 4-1, with a three-point lead.
The second period started with a Cougars power-play goal, which was recalled after discussion for a kicking motion, as the puck went off Cougars Jake Fletcher’s foot. The Bears scored three more goals in the second — from Josh Paterson, Smallwood, and Preziuso — before ending the period at 7-2, in the Bears’ favour.
The Bears saw one more goal in the third — after receiving a backhanded pass from Fonteyne, Smallwood took a one-timer, putting the puck in behind Cougar goaltender, Curtis Meger. The Cougars finished with two more goals in the third, one off a bar-down shot from the hash marks, and the last on a rebound from the point.