January 5, 2013, Saskatoon, SK (ISN) – Special teams proved to be the difference in a University of Manitoba 3-2 victory over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night in Saskatoon’s Rutherford Rink.
The No. 9 ranked Bisons capitalized three times on six power play attempts in the win over the No. 3 ranked Huskies. Saskatchewan went 0-for-five with the man advantage.
With the win Manitoba closes the gap to the top of the standings improving to 10-4-3, while the Huskies, who still have one game in hand on the first place Alberta Golden Bears, drop to 13-4. The game was the first of the second half of the Canada West men’s hockey season for both teams.
Manitoba’s Eric Mestery opened the scoring in the game at 9:03 in the first period when he deflected a pass in front of Huskies’ goalie Ryan Holfeld into the net.
Extending their lead just 1:13 into the second period, Bison Del Cowan soft shot on the power play deflected off a slew of players in front of Holfeld.
On a quick transition up the ice, Cody Smuk was able to beat Manitoba’s Jesse Deckert five-hole to cut the lead in half at 6:28 in the second. With a hard shot from the point, defenceman Cody Hobbs tied the game at two for the Huskies when his shot beat Deckert top shelf at 13:14 in the second.
Bison Dane Crowley broke the tie on the power play with a goal on a scramble in front of the net that trickled through Holfeld’s legs at 5:21 in the third. Striking for the third time in the game on the power play, Manitoba doubled their lead at 12:36 on a shot by Tyler Dittmer.
Deckert made 18 saves in the win for the Bisons, while Holfeld stopped 20 at the other end of the ice for the Huskies.
Manitoba goals: Eric Mestery, Del Cowan, Dane Crowley, Tyler Dittmer
Saskatchewan goals: Cody Smuk, Cody Hobbs
The two teams will meet again Saturday night at Rutherford Rink. Puck drop is 7 p.m. The game will be webcast at www.canadawest.tv.