By Nick Kuhl on January 11, 2020.
Now is not the time for introductions for the University of
Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s hockey team.
The Pronghorns were downed 5-2 by Saskatchewan Huskies in Canada West
play Friday night at Nicholas Sheran Arena.
The Huskies jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first period and though
the Horns — backed by goaltender Jack Burgart — were able to
hold the visitors off the board in the third period, the fourth-ranked
USPORTS squad still pumped 62 shots on goal compared to 24 by the Horns.
The Pronghorns drop to 5-13-1 to sit in last place in the Canada West,
while the Huskies are 13-4-2 and in third in the conference.
The plentiful pucks on Burgart aside, another slow start proved to be
the Pronghorns Achilles heel.
“That’s been our Achilles heel in a lot of games this year,” said
Pronghorns head coach Murray Nystrom. “We’re taking the first 30
minutes, it seems, to feel out our opponent and this isn’t the time
of year for that. We should be beyond that and that’s something
we’re trying to adjust as a staff and as a team.”
It was 3-1 Saskatchewan by the 11:41 mark of the first as Carson
Stadnyk, former Lethbridge Hurricane Carter Folk and Andrew Johnson
scored for the Huskies.
Torrin White, with his fourth of the season, pulled the Horns to
within two after the first period.
Sam Ruopp paced the Huskies to a 4-1 lead 6:09 into the second, but
Horns first-year Luke Coleman scored shorthanded for his eighth of the
season midway through the second, grabbing a neutral ice turnover and
sliding a backhand past Saskatchewan goaltender Taran Kozun.
“I was kind of lucky, the D-man went to block it and it bounced right
to me,” said Coleman. “The goalie came out to play it, so it was
easy to look up and go around him.”
Evan Fiala completed the scoring with 4:34 left in the second period.
The teams skated through a scoreless third, but Huskies provided
plenty of insurance in the opening 40 minutes to earn the weekend-
“If you give them a chance they’re to score,” said Coleman. “We
didn’t start as hot as them and they came out flying and scored a
couple of goals. It’s up to us to be ready to play their level.”
Burgart made 57 saves on the night.
“The positive is we always seem to rebound from those strange starts
and finish off the weekend on a positive note,” said Nystrom.
“But again, we’re at the time of the year where every game, all 120
minutes, mean a lot. But Saskatchewan earned every inch of ice out
there. I thought they were outstanding. They’re hard on pucks,
they’re quick and you have to be just about perfect against them
regardless of who you are in this league. You have to be on your game
from start to finish and it took us too long to get going.”
Coleman leads the Horns with 13 points in 19 games this season.
“Luke has been a real horse for us in that area,” said Nystrom.
“He’s had a couple other opportunities aside from the shorthanded
one. It seems he’s a threat every night and he’s been a pleasant
bonus for us coming in and stepping right now. Sometimes it takes guys
time to adjust to the level and the whole university lifestyle and
he’s done a great job of that.”
After spending the last three seasons with the Calgary Hitmen of the
Western Hockey League, the product of Red Deer has enjoyed the jump to
the Canada West.
“It’s good, it’s definitely a change,” said Coleman. “It’s
nice to have more of a schedule you’re used to and play every
Tonight’s game is at 7 p.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena.
On the women’s side, the Pronghorns lost 3-1 to the Huskies Friday
night in Saskatoon and are now 7-9-0-1 to side tied for sixth with the
5-10-4-0 Regina Cougars. The Huskies improve to 9-6-1-3 and remain in
Mila Verbicky scored on the power play midway through the third for
her second of the year to make it 3-1, but the Horns were unable to
get any closer.
Alicia Anderson stopped 23 of 26 shots in the loss.
The teams complete the weekend tonight at 6 p.m.
The Pronghorns basketball teams return to action tonight as the
Calgary Dinos pay a visit to the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
Both Dinos teams won the weekend-opener of the home-and-home series
Thursday night in Calgary.
The Pronghorns men are 4-9, while the women’s team is 6-7.
The women’s game is at 5 p.m. with the men to follow at 7 p.m.
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