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.