‘HORNS SWEPT BY MOUNT ROYAL

Box Score
Calgary – In his first home game behind the bench, Head Coach Bert Gilling was all smiles after the Cougars defeated Lethbridge 7-2 on Saturday night. Led by two goals from captain Matt Brown, the Cougars scored 7 unanswered goals to improve to 2-0-0 on the season.

The atmosphere was electric at the Flames Community Arena for the first Cougars home game in nearly eight months. It was standing room only to see the new look Cougars take on the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

Lethbridge quickly quieted the home crowd with two goals, just fifteen seconds apart. Daniel Fainman scored at 8:06 on a feed from Dan Iwanski. Right off the faceoff Lethbridge came darting down the ice, and Mike Forsyth buried another to give the Pronghorns a 2-0 lead.

Whatever Coach Gilling said to his guys at the intermission worked because the Cougars came out of the gate hot. David Stephens got MRU on the board just 23 seconds into the period. The Cougars then began to really take control of the pace, getting 8 shots in the first five minutes of the period. On a great cycle, Matt Brown got the puck out to Mackenzie Johnston and the rookie let go a seeing eye shot from the point to tie the game.

At the start of the third, one of the Pronghorn players covered the puck with his hand in the crease resulting in a penalty shot. Matt Brown was given the penalty shot opportunity, and he scored on his best one-handed Peter Forsberg impression. Four minutes later Brown buried another loose puck top corner to give the Cougars a 4-2.

Chagnon, Zarazun and Fiddler added some insurance late in the game to make the final 7-2.

The Cougars will play a home and home next weekend with the Calgary Dinos starting on October 3rd at Flames Community Arenas. Lethbridge will head up the highway to play Alberta

COUGARS SPOIL ‘HORNS HOME OPENER

Box Score
Lethbridge – The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns opened their 2014-2015 regular season, Thursday night, playing host to the Mount Royal University Cougars and were dealt a 2-0 loss in the first of a two game home-and-home series.Conner Collett and Matt Brown each netted individual markers for Mount Royal.

Cougars’ Dalyn Flette stopped all 29 shots he faced, securing a road shut-out in his first start of the regular season.

Damien Ketlo got the start for Lethbridge and turned aside 35 of 37 shots he faced on the night.

Both teams looked strong in the opening minutes of play and managed to push a quick pace through much of the opening period.

Ketlo was tested early, making a great stop on Jamie King, whose hard blast from the circle through traffic was deflected wide by Ketlo, but MRU managed to strike first, at 15:55, as Collett unloaded a hard wrister high glove-side, unassisted, to put his team on the score-sheet.

Justin Valentino, a first-year recruit for the Horns’, tried to sneak one past the Cougars net-minder, coming out of the corner with speed but his effort was denied by the Flette.

After the first period, shots favoured the Pronghorns, 12-9. Despite hitting two posts and a crossbar, the Horns couldn’t crack Flette.

With the Horns looking to even things up and the Cougars desperately searching for a go-ahead goal, both teams traded penalties throughout most of the second period, offering up short power plays chances for both sides.

Cason Machacek, David McMullen, and Brandon Clowes each had great chances for the Horns but, again, none would manage to beat the Cougars’ keeper. Making the most of a late power play opportunity, Hayden Rintoul unloaded a bullet but Flette stood tall and calmly shut the door, stopping all seven of the Horns efforts through the second period of play.

Tyler Fiddler led a charge into Horns territory and quickly found Cody Cartier alone in front who managed to get a quick shot off that was stonewalled by Ketlo.
The Cougars offensive unit looked strong in the third, outshooting the home team 18-10. Sebastien Pare tried to add an insurance marker midway through the frame but his effort was no match for Ketlo’s quick glove. Brown managed to make it happen a few minutes later, from Scott Mckay and Tyler Fiddler, as he snuck a shot over the line low blocker side.

The second half of the home-and-home series goes tomorrow night in Calgary, at Flames Community Arena. The puck drops at 7pm.

‘HORNS OPEN NEW ERA WITH HOME-AND-HOME WITH MOUNT ROYAL

Goalie

Lethbridge – Coming off a second consecutive season where the Lethbridge Pronghorn men’s hockey team missed the post-season, the page has been turned and a new era of Pronghorn hockey is set to begin under new head coach Spiros Anastas.

The ‘Horns open the 2014-15 Canada West season this Thursday night, hosting the front half of a home-and-home series with the Mount Royal Cougars. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM at Nicholas Sheran Arena.

Game two of the home-and-home series will go Saturday night in Calgary.

Anastas was hired this past April and joins the ‘Horns after spending the past two seasons as a member of the Detroit Red Wings organization, being an assistant coach with the Red Wings AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins.

The ‘Horns return 19 players from last season’s team and Anastas has added a good mix of youth and experience with eight new recruits.

Among Anastas’s first recruiting class are two NCAA transfers, two CIS transfers and four true freshmen. Forwards Brandon Clowes and Manny Gialedakis took advantage of the CIS eligibility repatriation rule and set right into the ‘Horns line-up.

Goaltender Warren Shymko transfers from the University of Ottawa and will push returning goaltenders Damien Ketlo and Dylan Tait for time in the crease. Shymko had a solid freshman season with the Gee Gees, putting up a 2.76 goals-against-average and a 0.900 save percentage.

An area of strength for the Pronghorns this season should be their blue line, as the ‘Horns return their entire top 6 defensemen from last season. Tim Campbell, David McMullen, Corbin Karl, Cason Machacek, Hayden Rintoul and Brent Henke will be the keys to ‘Horns success this season.

“Our success relies on our six returning defensemen being able to play a solid all-around game, while making defence a priority,” said first-year head coach Spiros Anastas.

After scoring a league low 52 goals last season, the ‘Horns forwards will need to up their production if the team is to have a resurgence this year. Following solid freshmen seasons, there are big expectations for Ryon Moser, Mitch Maxwell and Brock Hirsche.

Hirsche finished tied with Cass Mappin for the team lead in goals with seven, while Moser recorded six goals and 10 assists in 26 games last season.

Newcomers Clowes, Sam Wilbur and Artsiom Kalashnikov have shown some offensive flare during the ‘Horns non-conference schedule and will be counted on to produce during their first season with the program.

Wilbur finished second in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) scoring last season with 36 goals and 50 assists, while Kalashnikov picked up 52 points in 55 games last season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL).

For the Cougars, entering their third season in the conference and coming off their first post-season experience, are also in a year of transition with a new head coach in Bert Gilling.

Gilling, entering his first year at the helm of the Cougars program, has the luxury of 19 returning players from the team that finished fifth in the conference with 11-14-3 season but leading scorer Devin Gannon is no longer with the team.

However, the next two top scorers in Cody Cartier and Matt Brown are back to lead the conference’s third lowest scoring team from last year.

Also returning for the Cougars is their workhorse in the crease last season, Dalyn Fleete. Fleete played in 24 of the teams 28 conference games and started all three games in the Cougars playoff series loss to the Manitoba Bisons.