Manitoba Bisons Defeat Mount Royal 5-2

A pair of third period power play goals helped power the Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team past the Mount Royal Cougars 5-2 on Friday, January 10 night in front of an energetic crowd at the Wayne Fleming Arena (U of M campus).

After a tight first 40 minutes of play, Ian Duval and Luke Paulsen would score on Manitoba’s first two power play chances of the third period to put the Bisons (8-9-2) in front for good.

“We recognized after the second that we didn’t compete and perform to the level we needed,” said Bisons head coach  Mike Sirant . “The difference was our power play stepped up and got us some goals and our penalty killing stepped up too.”

Manitoba also received some outstanding goaltending from Joe Caligiuri, who made 31 saves in the Bisons net.

Cody Cartier and Justin Kirsch scored for the Cougars, who dropped to 6-10-1 with the loss. Dalyn Flette made 28 saves for the visitors.

The Manitoba Bisons scored the first period’s lone goal at the 11:30 mark. On a 2-on-1 breakout, Duval found Aaron Lewadniuk, who slid it past Flette to give Manitoba the early lead.  The goal was Lewadniuk’s team leading ninth of the season.

One of the first period’s standout players was Caligiuri.  The fourth year goalie played a key part in the Bisons successfully killing off three Mount Royal power play opportunities in the frame.  He finished with 11 saves in the period.

Mount Royal came out and controlled play early in the second period and eight minutes in, they would finally solve Caligiuri. On their 18th shot of the game, off a defection, Cartier snapped one home to tie the game at one a side.

Manitoba would retake the lead at 5:28 when Jordan DePape circled into the slot and backhanded the puck past Flette. However, a little over a minute later, the Cougars caught the Bisons scrambling in their own end and Kirsch would rifle it home to square the game at two.  The Cougars out-shot Manitoba 13-8 in the period.

The Manitoba Bisons were given their fourth power play opportunity of the game early in the third period and they would convert on it. Duval carried the puck around the Mount Royal goal and would shoot it off the crossbar and in to put the Bisons back in front.  Jesse Paradis and Travis Bobbee picked up assists on the goal.

Then, one minute into another power play chance, Paulsen would score his third goal of the season after one-timing a cross ice pass from Brendan Rowinski into the Mount Royal net.

The Cougars had a great opportunity to get back into the game in the late stages of the third period when they received a 5-on-3 man advantage for a full two minutes.  However, they were unable to score during that time due in part to some outstanding penalty killing from Bisons captain Dane Crowley and a few big saves from Caligiuri.

“That 5-on-3 was huge,” said Sirant. “That shows the sacrifice and courage of the guys out there and their will to win.”

DePape would cap the scoring with 50 seconds left in the game, scoring his second goal of the contest into a vacated Mount Royal net with Flette out for an extra attacker.

The two teams return to the ice Saturday afternoon at a special 1 p.m. CT start time at the Wayne Fleming Arena (U of M campus).

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