The University of Manitoba Bisons pulled off the upset of the 2019 Canada West hockey season on Saturday night.
Jonah Wasylak and Ryan Carlson each had a goal and an assist and Tyler Brown was outstanding in goal as they led the Bisons to a thrilling 5-3 victory over the first-place University of Alberta Golden Bears at Wayne Fleming Arena.
The Bears came into the game having beaten the Bisons 2-0 on Friday night too improve to 12-1-0 on the season. However, despite being outshot 33-13, Brown was sensational and the 6-7-1 Bisons skated off with a gigantic upset win.
“It’s a huge boost to our confidence, and we get momentum too,” Bisons head coach Mike Sirant told reporters after the game. “It reinforces our system and tactics as well; our guys executed the gameplan really well tonight.”
The Bisons opened the scoring with a power play goal by Jeremey Leipsic, just 6:50 into the game.
After the teams went to the locker room after 20 minutes with Manitoba leading 1-0, the Bisons came out in the second period and quickly added to their lead. Just 5:26 into the middle frame, Tony Apetagon scored after taking a great pass from Adam Henry.
Alberta made it 2-1 on a goal by Nolan Volcan and then tied it at two on a goal by Tyler Soy, shortly after, Lucas Skrumeda roofed a great pass from Geordie Keane off an odd-man rush, and the Bisons had a 3-2 advantage.
“I was just following the play,” said Skrumeda. “Geordie made a nice play and I kind of blacked out after I popped the bottle.”
Carlson made it 4-2 before the end of the second period and then took a 5-2 lead when Wasylak finished off a long-distance shot that was just thrown toward the net.
Alberta’s Cole Sanford made it 5-3 but the Bisons hung on and got their weekend-split with one of the best teams in the nation.
“That’s one of the best teams in the country over the last decade,” said Skrumeda. “And we not only beat them but showed we can play with anybody.”
The Bisons will now travel to Lethbridge next weekend for a two-game series with the struggling Pronghorns (4-9-1).
*With notes from John Gaudes/University of Manitoba