Bisons complete weekend sweep of Regina Cougars

MARC LAGACE, Bison Sports

The University of Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team picked up their second win of the conference season by defeating the University of Regina Cougars 4-1 on Saturday afternoon at Wayne Fleming Arena.

It was Manitoba’s second win of the young season, capping off a series weekend sweep after the Bisons shut out the Cougars 6-0 on Friday night. Manitoba is 2-2-0 on the season, while Regina’s record falls to 0-4-0.

Bisons head coach Mike Sirant was very happy with his team’s performance in both games. He called Saturday’s game a “team win.”

“Right from the forwards to the defence and goaltending, we thought everybody performed well and played their role. That’s what it takes to win at this level,” said Sirant, adding, “I was very pleased with Deven Dubyk. He looked very comfortable and composed in net.”

Dubyk got the start for Manitoba after earning a shutout the night before. He was excellent at containing rebounds and snuffed out any Cougar scoring opportunity. Forward Jordan DePape led the Bisons offensively and contributed on three of four Manitoba goals (scoring twice). Shaquille Merasty also chipped in with a goal and an assist.

Lucas Gore received the nod in the net for the Cougars. Gore was pulled after giving up three first-period goals Friday night and was also done after the second on Saturday. Forward Tyler Penny scored Regina’s lone goal unassisted in the third.

Manitoba carried over their momentum from Friday’s game, as they set the pace with great positioning and constant pressure early. DePape opened the scoring 4:13 into the game for the home side, with assists from Brock Sutherland and Taylor Dickin. Regina’s best chance of the period came at 13:38, with Reid Gow in the penalty box for holding, but Manitoba’s penalty killers were quick to clear the puck and protect their lead.

The Bisons continued to press in the second period. Merasty widened the lead with a nice move to slip the puck past Gore, then Dickin notched Manitoba’s third goal on the power play just over a minute later. Some action after the whistle resulted in Regina’s second power play opportunity of the night, but the Bisons escaped the threat.

Mitch Kilgore replaced Gore in the Cougars net for the start of the third after Gore gave up three goals on 16 shots. Regina managed to sustain some pressure in the Bisons zone after Lee Christensen was sent off for tripping. As the penalty ended, Manitoba jumped back onto the attack as Christensen was sprung on a breakaway. Regina got on the board late, as Penny ended Dubyk’s shutout bid with 4:13 remaining in the game. Temper began to flare as the game wound down. In all, 34 penalty minutes were called in the final frame, including a 10-minute major to Regina’s Troy Hunter for a hit to the head.

The Bisons will travel to Grand Forks, N.D., to play a non-conference game against the University of North Dakota on Oct. 5. They return to Canada West conference action Oct. 10 and 11, as they hit the road to play the U of Saskatchewan Huskies. Regina will host the Alberta Golden Bears during the Oct. 10-11 weekend as they still search for their first conference win of the season.

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