The University of Alberta Golden Bears left Rutherford Rink with two wins against the Huskies men’s hockey team in hand.
The Dogs lost both games to the number one ranked Gold Bears on Oct. 18 and 19. Following the losses the team sits seventh in the Canada West division with a 2-4-0 record.
During the first match on Friday night the Huskies were in a good position to post a win until two third-period goals within 16 seconds of each other by the Bears snuffed out the chance.
The Huskies were first on the board after forward Derek Hulak’s goal just shy of the six minute mark in the second period. Zak Stebner sent a pass to Hulak along the Golden Bears blue line, which he quickly fired toward Alberta’s net. The puck hit goaltender Kurtis Mucha’s blocker, but still found its way into the net after rolling down his leg and over the goal line.
The Golden Bears tied the game with seven minutes left in the same frame. Alberta’s Levko Koper took a shot from the slot, but Huskies defencemen got in the way. Fortunately for the visiting team, Kruise Reddick was in the perfect position to chip the rebound past Huskies netminder Ryan Holfeld.
Tied at 1-1 in the third period, two quick goals by Jamie Crooks and Ian Barteaux led the Golden Bears to victory. Crooks scored the first goal at the 6:17 mark after he snapped a pass from Brett Ferguson over Holfeld’s glove. Barteaux added insult to injury when his slap shot found the net at 6:33.
The Huskies got one of the goals back when Kenton Dulle maneuvered the puck past Mucha and brought the Dogs within one of the tie. The squad kept pushing for the equalizer but a high-sticking penalty left them short-handed with less than three minutes left to play and they couldn’t recover from the disadvantage.
Saturday’s game saw much of the same, as the Huskies once again beat the Golden Bears to the scoreboard. The Dogs first goal came off the stick of captain Brennan Bosch during a five-on-three advantage at the end of the first period. Bosch fired the puck into the top shelf past Alberta’s goalie Luke Siemens.
Alberta tied the game during a power play of their own when Jordan Hickmott capitalized on the advantage two and a half minutes into the second period to draw even at 1-1. The Huskies pulled ahead 2-1 when Dulle’s shot bounced off Siemen’s chest and into the net. Five minutes later Hickmott scored his second goal of the night to bring the two teams even once again.
The winning goal for the Golden Bears came off a shot by Rhett Rachinski at 15:43 in the third period. Rachinski found the puck at the right faceoff circle after a scramble in front of the net and quickly flicked the puck past Holfeld for a 3-2 lead.
The Huskies left the net unoccupied to gain a one man advantage in the fading minutes, allowing Koper an empty net goal for the 4-2 Golden Bear triumph.
Holfeld made 33 saves on the night while Siemens made 31. The Golden Bears edged the Huskies in total shots 37-33.
The Huskies host the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns on Friday Oct. 25 and Saturday Oct. 26.
Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor