January 26, 2013, Regina, SK (ISN) – The University of Regina’s men’s hockey team overcame a two-goal third-period deficit and defeated No. 5-ranked Saskatchewan 5-4 in a shootout on Friday night in a Canada West thriller at The Co-operators Centre.
With the Cougars trailing 4-2 past the midway point of the third, Tyler Murray and Ward Szucki scored in the span of 61 seconds to tie it up. The two teams went scoreless through the remainder of regulation and two five-minute overtimes, setting the stage for Szucki and Brock Appleyard to score in the shootout to give the Cougars the win.
Tyler Penny and Ryan Sawka also scored for the Cougars, while Lucas Gore made 38 saves in the victory and stopped both Saskatchewan attempts in the shootout to secure the victory.
Andrew Bailey scored twice for Saskatchewan, while Brennan Bosch and Cody Smuk added singles. David Reekie got the start between the pipes, but was replaced after 20 minutes and Ryan Holfeld went the rest of the way for the Huskies.
“It was a gusty effort for us tonight and a great come-from-behind win,” Cougars first-year head coach Todd Johnson said. “Looking at the third period I thought we laid it all out there and were able to turn the tables on them simply because of how hard we played.”
The two teams traded goals in the first period, with Penny opening the scoring for the Cougars with helpers from Troy Hunter and Appleyard and Bailey responding with his first of the game four minutes later. Matthew Delahey and Chris Durand drew the assists on Bailey’s goal.
Early in the second period, Bosch gave Saskatchewan its first lead of the game. With a 5-on-4 for the Huskies seconds from expiring, Bosch walked out from the corner and deked Gore to notch his team-leading 12th goal of the season. The lead didn’t last long, as Sawka went top corner on a shot from the slot four minutes later after taking a feed from the corner from Skyler Hladun. Sawka’s goal came against the run of play in the second, as Saskatchewan enjoyed a 16-8 shot advantage in the middle frame.
The Huskies scored twice in 43 seconds midway through the second. Bailey collected his second goal of the game with a rifle of a shot from the off wing, and Smuk scored shortly thereafter to put the visitors up 4-2.
Saskatchewan’s lead stayed intact until Murray and Szucki broke through for the Cougars. Murray’s goal was assisted by Selinger, and Szucki’s shot from the blue line found its way through to tie the game at 4-4. The Huskies outshot Regina by a 36-23 margin through regulation, and the Cougars had eight shots to Saskatchewan’s six in the two scoreless overtimes.
In the shootout, Szucki opened up by deking to his backhand and going five hole on Holfeld to put the Cougars up one. Gore stopped Saskatchewan attempts by Jake Trask and Derek Hulak, giving Brock Appleyard the chance to score for the win. Appleyard did just that, going wide to the right before cutting back in and shooting it off the far post and in to clinch the come-from-behind victory.
The win improves the U of R’s Canada West record to 12-9-2. Now riding a three-game winning streak, the Cougars are just one point back of fifth-place UBC and two points behind fourth-place Calgary.
Saskatchewan drops to 15-7-1 on the season.
The two teams will meet on Saturday in Saskatoon.