Top-ranked Bears score early, hold on for opening win

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Courtesy of host organizing committee

March 20, 2014, SASKATOON (ISN) – The top-seeded University of Alberta Golden Bears got off to a strong start scoring three first period goals en route to a 3-2 win over the No. 6 Carleton Ravens in the CIS men’s hockey championship opener at Credit Union Centre.

UNIVERSITY CUP WEBSITE: www.universitycup.ca

With the win the Golden Bears (1-0) take an early lead in Pool A and will face the McGill Redmen Saturday at 2 p.m. Saskatchewan Time, live on Sportsnet 360 and on the web at www.cis-sic.tv.

Carleton (0-1), which is making its first-ever University Cup appearance, takes on McGill Friday at 1 p.m. Saskatchewan Time.

Alberta opened the scoring a minute and 29 seconds into the contest on a Jordan Rowley tally. The third-year defenceman, who was named the top rearguard in Canada West this season, jumped into the rush and deflected Brett Ferguson’s shot past Carleton netminder Francis Dupuis.

The Golden Bears increased their lead with a power play goal at 6:31. Ferguson dangled his way through the neutral zone before centering a pass to rookie forward T.J. Foster, who beat Dupuis stick side.

Carleton cut the Golden Bears lead in half on a Joe Pleckaitis power play tally with just over five minutes remaining in the opening stanza. With Ian Barteaux in the penalty box for hooking, the Ravens were able move the puck freely in the Alberta zone. Pleckaitis’ seeing-eye shot found its way through a screen and beat Alberta’s Kurtis Mucha over the glove.

The Golden Bears restored their two-goal advantage on a Travis Toomey goal with just over three minutes remaining in the opening stanza. Toomey’s marker stood as the game winner.

Damien Cross gave the Ravens hope late in the third period. Carleton entered the zone quickly, Cross fed a streaking Plecktaitis, whose shot beat Mucha but rang off both posts before Cross batted the puck into the open net. Carleton nearly tied the game on a late power play shot from Matthew Stanisz but Mucha found the puck through a screen and made the kick save.

“We found out last year that this game, Thursday, is the hardest game.” said Alberta head coach Ian Herbers, whose team was upset 2-1 by Waterloo in its 2013 opener despite outshooting the Warriors 43-13. “Last year we didn’t capitalize [on our chances], I like that we came out and scored right away and got the momentum.”

The Golden Bears controlled play for much of the contest out-shooting the Ravens 41-17, and held Carleton to just two shots on goal in the second period.

Carleton head coach Marty Johnson was disappointed with his team’s start.

“The start wasn’t what we wanted, give Alberta credit. We will learn from our start and move forward. Alberta is a deep team, they came at us hard and we didn’t react, give them credit.”

T.J. Foster was named the player of the game for Alberta, while Dupuis earned the honour for Carleton.

The PotashCorp University Cup presented by Co-op resumes Thursday at 7 p.m. local time with the first game of Pool B between the AUS champion and No. 2 seeded Acadia Axemen and the OUA champion and No. 3 seeded Windsor Lancers.

SCORING SUMMARY

Boxscore: STATS

FIRST PERIOD

1. ALB Jordan Rowley (1) (Brett Ferguson), 1:29

2. ALB T.J. Foster (1) (Brett Ferguson), 6:31 PP

3. CAR Joe Pleckaitis (1) (Tim Billingsley, Mike McNamee), 14:40 PP

4. ALB Travis Toomey (1) (Drew Nichol, Kruise Reddick), 16:49

PENALTIES:

  • Cardwell (CAR) checking to the head, 10-minute misconduct, 5:21;
  • Barteaux (ALB) hooking, 13:18.

SECOND PERIOD

(no scoring)

PENALTIES:

  • Billingsley (CAR) high sticking, 4:42.
  • Barteaux (ALB) interference, 18:43.

THIRD PERIOD

5. CAR Damien Cross (1) (Joe Pleckaitis), 17:21 PP

PENALTIES:

  • Deagle (CAR) cross checking, 4:35;
  • Bahm (CAR) checking to the head, 10-minute misconduct, 12:33;
  • Crooks (ALB) tripping, 13:07;
  • Nichol (ALB) tripping, 16:02;
  • Koper (ALB) cross checking, 19:14.
  • GOALS (by period)
  • ALB 3-0-0: 3
  • CAR 1-0-1: 2

SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)

ALB 16-15-10: 41

CAR 8-2-7: 17

POWER PLAY:

ALB 1-4

CAR 2-5

GOALTENDERS

ALB – Kurtis Mucha (W, 1-0, 17 shots, 15 saves, 2 GA, 60:00)

CAR – Francis Dupuis (L, 0-1, 41 shots, 38 saves, 3 GA, 59:14)

CAR – Empty net (0 GA, 0:46)

PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

ALB: T.J. Foster

CAR: Francis Dupuis

REFEREES: Nathan Wieler, Todd Thomander

LINESMEN: Nick Bilko, Sean Dufour

ATTENDANCE: 6102

START: 1:00

END: 3:17

LENGTH: 2:17

POOL STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS (LOCAL TIME)

Pool A standings (after 1 of 3 games) 

GP       W        L          GF       GA      PTS

1. ALB             1          1          0          3          2          2

2. McG            0          0          0          0          0          0

3. CAR            1          0          1          2          3          0

Pool B standings

1. ACA            0          0          0          0          0          0

1. WSR            0          0          0          0          0          0

1. SSK             0          0          0          0          0          0

Thursday, March 20

13:00 Pool A #1: Alberta 3, Carleton 2

19:00 Pool B #1: No. 2 Acadia vs. No. 3 Windsor (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Friday, March 21

13:00 Pool A #2: No. 6 Carleton vs. No. 4 McGill (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

19:00 Pool B #2: Loser Pool B #1 vs. No. 5 Saskatchewan (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Saturday, March 22

14:00 Pool A #3: No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 4 McGill (Sportsnet 360 & www.CIS-SIC.tv)

19:00 Pool B #3: Winner Pool B #1 vs. No. 5 Saskatchewan (Sportsnet 360 & www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Sunday, March 23

13:30 Final (Sportsnet & www.CIS-SIC.tv)

* The webcasts of the 3 televised games will be on pay-per-view basis

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