WINNIPEG, M.B. (from Manitoba Bisons) – Winnipeg natives Michael St. Croix with three goals and one assist and Zach Franko with three helpers lifted the Manitoba Bisons to a 7-3 victory Saturday over the Lethbridge Pronghorns.
The Bisons are riding a five-game win streak and now have a 16-8-2 record to remain in third place in the Canada West men’s hockey standings, while the loss was the eighth straight for the Pronghorns (8-15-3).
Lethbridge led 2-1 after one period, but the Bisons netted three goals in each of the final two periods.
“For us to be successful as a team we have to combine our speed and skill. We got away from that a bit in the first period today, but brought it back in the second,” said Bisons head coach Mike Sirant.
Though the third period is where the Bisons sealed their win, it was the second period that changed the pace of the game. In the middle frame, a powerful Bisons offence netted three goals in less than five minutes.
St. Croix tied the game at 2-2 when he took a pass from Franko and beat Lethbridge goalie Garret Hughson. Bisons forward Liam Bilton was able to score an unassisted goal after firing the puck which went off a stick and glove-side at the top of the net to put Manitoba into the lead.
Seconds later, Bisons went to the powerplay after a high-sticking call against the Pronghorns. It was Bisons forward Quintin Lisoway who found the visitors’ net early into the powerplay, prompting a Pronghorns goalie switch which saw Ty Edmonds take the place of Hughson in net.
In the third period, Edmonds had no chance to react on a quick goal scored by St. Croix which put Manitoba up 5-2.
Pronghorns defenseman Dallas Valentine was able to snipe a shot past Manitoba netminder Byron Spriggs, but the Bisons were quick to respond. Minutes later, Brad Bowles scored, and in the dying seconds of the game, St. Croix completed his hat-trick. Remi Laurencelle notched the game’s first goal for a 1-0 Manitoba lead. Artsiom Kalashnikov and Tyler Hansen found the net to give the Pronghorns a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
The Bisons now head to Alberta next weekend to play the Calgary Dinos in a pair of games, while the Lethbridge Pronghorns head home to play twice against the Regina Cougars.