University of Alberta Golden Bears men’s hockey team kick off hunt for National Championship Friday morning
By Zach Laing8 months ago
Friday morning will mark the start of the University of Alberta Golden Bears’ latest embarkment for a National Championship.
In each of their last three trips, the Bears have made it to the finals. In 2018, they toppled St. FX in the finals in Fredericton, N.B, but fell the final year in 2019 to Lethbridge. Last year, Alberta fell in the finals, once again, but this time to UQTR.
This was a season of highs and lows in the Canwest season for Ian Herbers’ Golden Bears. They finished the regular season with a 20-5-1 record sitting second in the conference only behind the powerhouse Calgary Dinos. Alberta had some big wins along the way as the highest-scoring team in the league, but they had some struggles, too. They dropped games to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the University of British Columba Thunderbirds, and dropped two games against those pesky Dinos.
Come the playoffs, it wasn’t an easy run for Alberta. They dropped game one of their semi-finals set against the Thunderbirds 4-3, and halfway through game two it appeared the Bears were on their way out of the playoffs. But things changed quick, as they roared back with a 4-3 win. They dominated game three with a 6-3 victory.
While they fell in game three against the Calgary Dinos in the Canwest Finals, the Golden Bears still punched their ticket to the National Championships as the fifth seed in the tournament.
On Friday morning, they take on the Windsor Lancers in the quarterfinalist 9 a.m. The game will be streamed via CBC YouTube. I’ll be posting clips of the game on my Twitter.
“Windsor has maybe the best goalie in the country. They play very stingy, and don’t give you very much,” said Bears head coach Ian Herbers. “They don’t give up many odd-man chances, so we need to work hard at creating off the rush. The haven’t had a lot of traffic in front of their nets in the games we have seen this year, so we need to make sure we have bodies in front, and make life hard for their goalie.
“Our special teams will always be key, especially in short tournament like this. Our power play will have to keep clicking, and our penalty kill has been excellent in the post-season. And staying away from the major blunders. Teams will make mistakes during a tournament, but we need to keep those to a minimum, and play our good relentless game.”
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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