Men's Hockey vs. MRU Cougars
Those of you that were there to witness it or tuned in to the live feed were treated to an amazing weekend by the Briercrest Men’s hockey team. The first place Mount Royal Cougars were in town for a pair of games at Barkman arena having holy lost one contest so far this year.
Friday night started with a bang as Briercrest took the physical play to the Cougars, with big hits from Schellenberg, Dufrense, and Cornelsen. Briercrest would fight through a ton of penalties in the first period, playing shorthanded for half the period. The Briercrest penalty kill was absolutely outstanding not only in the first but through the whole weekend. Anholt and Epp probably blocked ten shots alone and everyone on the team was chipping in and sacrificing the body, I don’t think there was a single Clipper that was on the ice for a penalty kill that didn’t block a shot.
The shots that did get through were smothered by Chenard who was equally as phenomenal as the penalty kill this weekend stopping over a hundred shots with some great scrambles mixed with some flashy glove saves. Briercrest would turn up the heat in the second, buzzing all around the Cougar goal with chances coming from Regal, Voth, and Epp. Eventually Cornelsen would get one to go in and the Clippers had a 1-0 lead. The Cougars would tie the game late in the second to head to the third period knotted at one goal apiece.
In the third, Josh “Picker” Gustafson would slide the puck down to Taylor Epp who would go cross crease to a wide open Tyler Murray for a pretty bang, bang play. Mount Royal would respond quickly though and the came would carry on tied late into the third before Mount Royal would take the lead. Briercrest would not slow down however and put some serious pressure on Mount Royal in the last few minutes. Dufrense would blast one off the post, a slap pass from Cornelsen would just miss the mark and Anholt had a great chance in the slot that Mount Royal’s goalie would just get a piece of. In the end the Cougars would add an empty net goal for a 4-2 finish.
Saturday’ game would prove to be just as thrilling with Briercrest continuing the good penalty killing. Adam Voth would have a great chance in tight early and later Tyler Murray after a nifty dangle would lift one over the goalie’s shoulder, he would spin around and catch it in his glove but he would end up completely inside the net. I have no idea how the ref or the goal judge didn’t call it a goal but the goalie was clearly inside the net with the puck in his glove. Unfazed the Clippers would keep pushing, early in the second Chenard would blast a puck off the post and then Cornelsen, and Dufrense would go cross ice a few times to leave the goalie spinning around and the puck in the back of the net off Regal’s stick.
Mount Royal would tie the game shortly after and from there the game would become a wide open back and forth hockey game with big chances and great saves on either end of the ice. Mount Royal would add another goal late in the second off a screen shot but the lead wouldn’t hold up long. At the start of the period Captain Craig Cornelsen would step over the blue line and absolutely wire a slapshot into the top shelf sending the water bottle flying. Jesse would keep Briercrest in the game with some great saves but eventually the Cougars would take the lead again. The Clippers would push hard and get a few more chances late in the third but couldn’t tie the game taking instead the 3-2 loss.
Despite not earning any points this was easily Briercrest’s best weekend of the year. They played 120 minutes of great hockey, battled hard, and didn’t quit. It was a great weekend to be proud of the team.