By Garrick Kozier
October 14, 2012, WINNIPEG – Twenty-four hours after handing the No. 4 ranked Saskatchewan Huskies (3-1-0) its first loss of the 2012-13 Canada West hockey season, the unranked Manitoba Bisons (1-3-0) weren’t so lucky Saturday night.
Despite a goal by fifth-year forward Tyler Dittmer, and a 19 save effort from backstop Jesse Deckert, the homeside Bisons fell 2-1 to the visiting Huskies.
Perhaps carrying some momentum from last night’s win, the Bisons came out of the gate looking very motivated, peppering Huskies goalie Ryan Holfeld with 11 first period shots on goal. Deckert, making this second start in as many games, wasn’t tested nearly as often as his Saskatchewan counterpart, facing a mere five shots.
Deckert did, however, bring the enthusiastic Max Bell Centre crowd to its feet in the frame as he robbed Huskies forward Craig McCallum with a nifty glove save on what looked like a sure goal from the slot. As the Huskies were shorthanded, McCallum intercepted a wayward Bisons pass, taking it all alone to the net. Just before the puck could find pay dirt, the 6’2″ netminder flashed the leather just in time.
There was no scoring in the first period.
With 9:15 left in the second period, the scorekeeper was finally able to put pen to paper, as Huskies third-year forward Derek Hulak intercepted a pass in the Bisons zone, taking it all the way down the ice, beating a leaping Deckert. With that goal, the Huskies took their first lead of the two-game weekend set.
The Huskies struck again in the middle frame with 2:47 left. Fourth-year year forward Brennan Bosch made no mistake on a rebound in front of the Manitoba goal, burying the puck past a sprawled Deckert, giving his team a 2-0 lead. McCallum was credited with an assist on the play.
Just as the final moments of the second period ticked away, Manitoba made its first mark.
Dittmer, who helped out with an assist last night, lit the lamp at 19:23 on a Bisons power play to put his side within one. Forward Ian Duval and blueliner Travis Bobbee assisted on Dittmer’s marker.
Lady luck seemed to be on Manitoba’s side in the third period, as the home team had four opportunities with the man advantage in the frame. However, just as he did all game, Holfeld held the fort when tested. He would finish with 28 saves.
The Bisons travel to Calgary next weekend for a two-game weekend series against the unranked Mount Royal Cougars. Those games are slated for Oct. 19 (8 p.m. CT) and Oct. 20 (3 p.m. CT), respectively.
The Huskies host Alberta for a home-and-home series next Friday and Saturday.
Manitoba will then close out October with a double-dip at No. 7 ranked Calgary, with games on Oct. 26 and 27. The Bisons won’t take home ice until Nov. 9 and 10, when they host unranked Lethbridge for a two-game series. For more schedule information, visit gobisons.ca.