Spriggs, Bisons blank Pronghorns 6-0

The Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team completed a sweep of the Lethbridge Pronghorns with a 6-0 win at Wayne Fleming Arena Saturday. With the win, the Bisons improved to 11-11-0, while the Pronghorns saw their record drop to 4-18-0.

“It’s so tight between us, UBC and Saskatchewan so these points were huge for us,” said Mike Sirant, Manitoba’s head coach.

BYRON SPRIGGS

BYRON SPRIGGS

It was 10 minutes into the first period when Bisons defenceman Brock Sutherland opened the scoring with his second goal of the year, going glove side on Pronghorns’ goalie Warren Shymko. The scoring continued for the home team when fourth-year forward Aaron Lewadniuk scored his seventh of the season on the power-play and rookie defenceman Josh Elmes then made it 3-0. Before the period ended, forward Jordan DePape added his team-leading 11th of the season to extend the lead to four.

After Shymko allowed  four goals on 11 shots, the Pronghorns replaced him with Damien Ketlo to start the second. While Ketlo started off well, stopping Bisons forward Daniel Fainman on a breakaway, the rest of the period wasn’t as kind. Bisons defenceman Luke Paulsen and forward Taylor Dickin would each score a goal to make the score 6-0 in favour of Manitoba.

In the third period, neither team was able to score a goal, and Bisons starting goalie Byron Spriggs earned a 25-save shutout.

“(Spriggs) looked confident and comfortable,” Sirant said. “He was really great handling the puck out there and controlling the routine shots, making it easy for the defence.”

The Bisons’ special teams shone in this game. They were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and an impressive 3-for-5 on the power play.

“The penalty killing was key in turning the momentum of the game,” Sirant said. “I didn’t think we had a real good start to the game and then we took a penalty, killed it off and scored right after. The power play scored some really well-executed goals that were really nice to watch.”

The Bisons play their next game Friday, Jan. 16 in Regina against the Cougars at 7 p.m. CST.

— JORDAN HASLBECK, Bison Sports