A pair of first half goals were the difference on Aug. 31 in Calgary, as the Mount Royal Cougars were able to take control of the game early and hold off the Saskatchewan Huskies en route to a 2-0 victory.

Mohamed El Gandour and Rori Enno scored the goals for the host Cougars, with Kyran Valley making two saves for the shutout victory.

Marcus Baxter made three saves for Saskatchewan, while both Gabriel Buatois and Kuhle Bekwayo unleashed three shots towards goal to lead the Huskies offensively.

Mount Royal got on the scoreboard early. Just four minutes after the opening whistle a long ball into the Huskies’ 18-yard box forced Baxter to come off his line, where a collision with an on-rushing Cougar led to a penalty shot.

Baxter guessed right on the ensuing spot kick, but was unable to keep El Gandour’s effort from opening the scoring.

Saskatchewan rebounded well after going down early and nearly tied the game in the 25th minute. Marcello Gonzalez started a nice series of Saskatchewan passes, with the offensive thrust resulting in Bekwayo unleashing a shot from inside the 18-yard box that went just high.

Mount Royal doubled their lead ten minutes before halftime against the run of play.

Another long-ball was sent deep into the Huskies’ penalty area and Enno was able to out-manoeuvre a sliding Baxter before calmly slotting the ball into the back of the net to send the teams into the break with the score 2-0.

A chaotic moment just 10 minutes into the second half set the tone for the rest of the game.

A long shot from Mount Royal ricocheted off the crossbar and directly into the path of a Cougar forward, the ball was sent towards the goal but Baxter was able to leap to his right and corral the ball. Looking to poke the ball loose, El Gandour charged towards Baxter, catching Baxter in the side. El Gandour received his second yellow card of the game for that infraction, giving Saskatchewan a man-advantage for the remaining 35 minutes of play.

Using that man-advantage, Saskatchewan controlled the remainder of the game but despite some high-quality scoring opportunities they were unable to find the back of the net.

With the result the Huskies fall to a record of 1-1-1 early in the 2019 Canada West season, while Mount Royal improves to 2-0.

Saskatchewan is back in action , Sept. 1 for a game against the Calgary Dinos in Calgary at 6 p.m.