(ISN) – EDMONTON – Former Edmonton Oil King Jordan Hickmott, coming into the weekend as Canada’s leading scorer in CIS play, put up his second four-point night of the season, notching two goals and two assists, as the No.1 University of Alberta Golden Bears staved off a comeback from the No.7 University of Saskatchewan Huskies with a 6-3 decision, Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Team captain Kruise Reddick added a goal and a pair of helpers while T.J. Foster, second in the nation before the weekend’s action began, had three assists. Also netting multi-point nights were sophomore Jamie Crooks (a goal and an assist) and fourth-year Brett Ferguson (two assists). Defender Thomas Carr and another ex-Oil King, Drew Nichol, scored singles.
Second-year Huskies Josh Roach, John Lawrence, and Sean Aschim tallied for the visitors, Saskatchewan now dropping to .500 on the season with a 4-4 record.
Alberta improves to 7-1, taking sole possession of first place in the Canada West standings.
The Bears came out shooting to start the game, firing 17 shots on rookie netminder Jordon Cooke in the opening frame, but it only took the second shot to open the scoring, taking advantage of an early power-play opportunity at the 3:42 mark.
Hickmott tried to snipe the top corner, Cooke catching part of the shot with his glove, but not enough as the puck dribbled in for the 1-0 lead.
Fifty-three seconds later, Crooks doubled the lead off a Dylan Bredo point shot, putting home the greasy rebound for his third on the season.
Alberta continued to control the play in the first period, adding to their lead with 3:11 left on the clock when Carr came late on an odd-man rush, perfectly one-timing a Hickmott pass in the high slot that jumped in and out of the net before the goal judge had a chance to light the lamp.
Just 11 seconds later, with Cooke down and out on an initial point shot that was blocked, Nichol fired into the empty cage for a commanding 4-0 lead.
Yet the Huskies didn’t give up, freshman forward Michael Sofillas hitting the post moments later on a breakaway and senior forward Craig McCallum scooping the rebound to on top of the net.
In the final 30 seconds of the frame, Sofillas got a shot through former Kamloops Blazer Kurtis Mucha in the Alberta net, but Carr cleared the puck from the crease before it could cross the goal line.
Fourth-year rearguard Zak Stebner hit more iron on a power-play point shot in the second, but Roach put one home for the road team on the same advantage 30 seconds later, walking in from the point to the high slot before notching his first goal of the season on a slapper.
Just over a minute later on a Bears man-advantage, Foster made an errant pass from behind the Alberta net straight to Lawrence near the Golden Bear blueline, the Neudale, Man. native finding the corner of the net with a slapshot for his second goal in as many games.
When Aschim redirected a sharp Jeremy Margeson pass with 6:31 left to go in the middle stanza, a full Saskatchewan comeback seemed imminent but the defending CIS and Canada West champs started to shift the momentum before the period was over, controlling the puck in the Huskies’ zone and brought more of the same into the final frame, outshooting the visitors 18-7.
With the puck possession mainly in the Saskatchewan end of the rink, it was only a matter of time before Alberta would score again, Hickmott finishing off a tic-tac-toe play from Foster and Reddick for the insurance marker with 6:28 left to go.
Reddick capped off the game with an empty-netter off a breakaway.
The Bears went 2-3 on the man-advantage on the night while Saskatchewan finished 1-3 and netted a shorthanded goal.
Both teams spend next weekend on the “bye” in conference play, Alberta heading to the New York state for a couple of non-conference games against Yale and Dartmouth before starting a home-and-home series on the Hallowe’en weekend against the Mount Royal Cougars. Saskatchewan will spend Oct. 31 – Nov. 1 heading to Calgary to face off against the Dinos.