Waterloo Warriors’ goaltender Keaton Hartigan stood on his head in a stunning 2-1 upset over the top-seeded University of Alberta Golden Bears in the opening game of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport University Cup today at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.
Waterloo was seeded last out of all six teams coming into the tournament.
Hartigan turned away 42 of Alberta’s 43 shots on goal. He had a little help from the posts as well. Alberta rang six pucks off the iron, including a third-period buzzer beater that would have tied the game.
Hartigan said after the game that he felt it was the best performance of his career given the magnitude of the game. He recognized his luck on a few of the shots and thanked his posts for helping him out.
In a first period where the Golden Bears dominated puck possession, it was the Warriors who led by one after twenty minutes. Alberta’s Jesse Craige took a four-minute double-minor high sticking penalty 14 minutes into the frame. On the ensuing attack, Warriors’ second-year forward Justin Larson made good on the man advantage by sliding the puck underneath the pads of Bears’ CIS goalie of the year Kurtis Mucha.
The Bears continued to bring the pressure in the second period, firing 22 shots at Waterloo’s netminder Keaton Hartigan. The Bears managed to beat Hartigan on a deflected power play shot from the point, but the puck couldn’t beat the post as the rubber bounced clear of the net.
The Warriors doubled their lead 8:10 into the final frame. Waterloo right-winger Andy Smith sent the puck across Alberta’s crease to Blake Chartier who buried it behind Mucha.
Alberta tried to respond but once again could only find iron, hitting the post another two times in a 40 second span midway through the third.
The Golden Bears inched closer with a power-play marker by Torie Dyck with only 3:30 left in the game.
Just as the Bears gained momentum, forward Travis Toomey took a high sticking penalty to put his team at the disadvantage. Toomey got out of the penalty box with 11 seconds to go and the Bears got one last faceoff in the Warriors zone with only three seconds on the clock.
Alberta won the draw and sent it to the winger to the left of the net. The shot hit the crossbar of the net and finalized the upset.
“It was a set play,” Golden Bears head coach Ian Herbers said after the game. “Except when I drew it up it was in the net, not off the post.”
Alberta now plays for their tournament lives against the number four ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies Friday at 1 p.m. while Waterloo will get a day off and play next against the Saint Mary’s Huskies on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that that Waterloo would be playing the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes on Saturday. This was incorrect. They will actually be playing against the Saint Mary’s Huskies.
Photo: Josh Schaefer/CIS University Cup