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MEN’S HOCKEY: Lees the OT hero as MRU Cougars sweep Regina in weekend set

Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics

CALGARY – Round two of the all-Cougars weekend set in the opening weekend of men’s hockey was taken by Mount Royal in a 3-2 game that went the distance. MRU completes the sweep of Regina for the second series in a row dating back to last season on Saturday afternoon at the Flames Community Arena. Their fifth straight overall win against them.

Both teams came out the gates but with a very defensive attitude as shots were recorded at 1-1 with under 10 minutes left in the first period.

Regina however, opposite to the night previous, were the aggressors early on. Playing a step ahead of MRU, they managed to put up the first point up on the board after MRU got into penalty trouble in the first period.

Head coach Bert Gilling notes the environment of today’s game was different from the night before.

“It’s weird, it’s a short turnaround with these afternoon game,” he said.

“The next game is completely different so tip of the hat to Regina, we knew they are a proud group and they’d play us hard and it was.

“Last shot won the game so I wasn’t surprised.”

Tate Coughlin was the beneficiary of a power play goal at 13:47, burying a rebound after standing tall inside the MRU crease for most of his shift.

Minutes on MRU responded with a power play marker themselves from a Ryley Lindgren one-timed shot for his second goal is as many nights at 16:03.

67 seconds later, David Stephens also scored his second goal in two games and gave his MRU Cougars side their first lead of the game, scoring just after the second power play of the two expired.

MRU took a 2-1 lead heading into the first break.

The second period saw the speed of the game increase but also the level of undisciplined play for both squads.

Regina tallied their second power play goal to knot the game up at 2-2 on Corey Kosloski’s first goal on the season. The fifth-year senior had the entire pocket of the face-off circle for himself to calculate a shot that he fired under the blocker of Riley Morris to even the score for his side.

Regina finished the game being 2/7 on the man-advantage while MRU were ⅙ .

MRU played much of the third period on the counter and were held down two men late in the period but a stubborn penalty kill came through in the clutch and killed off a five-on-three thanks to timely goaltending from Morris.

Regulation solved nothing and the game was sent to overtime.

In the extra period, MRU had the first chance to close out Regina when Stephens forced a turnover and sent himself and Brad Kennedy on a two-man break. Their connection was poor and couldn’t bury the golden opportunity but moments on Jesse Lees came out as the hero for his Cougar squad.

Stephens slid the puck up the ice for Lees who turned on the jets, entered the zone and absolutely wired a shot over the head of Dawson MacAuley at 2:54 to give MRU a 2-0-0 head start in the standings.

MacAuley stopped 33 of 36 shots while Morris saw 19 of 21 pucks come his way.

MRU are set to travel to B.C. after the holiday weekend for a set against the UBC Thunderbirds at 7 p.m. PDT on Friday the 12th while Regina are playing at home for the first time also on Friday at 7 p.m., hosting the Lethbridge Pronghorns.