The Alberta Golden Bears will meet the Saint Mary's Huskies for the Canadian university men's hockey championship after both team's won their final group games Saturday.
In the afternoon game, Andrew Hotham and Cam Fergus led the scoring and rookie goaltender Neil Conway picked up the shutout as Saint Mary's blanked the fifth-ranked Manitoba Bisons 5-0.
In the late game, Alberta beat the No. 4 Lakehead Thunderwolves 5-3.
The No. 1 Golden Bears and No. 3 Huskies with play for the Cavendish University Cup on Sunday.
Fergus had two goals for the Huskies and Hotham, the Atlantic University Sport top-scoring defenceman this season, had a goal and two assists against an outmatched Bisons team.
"I was just cruising through the slot and it ended up being on my stick," said Fergus of his first goal. "I closed my eyes and hoped it went in, and sure enough I got one."
Huskies coach Trevor Stienburg was happy with his team's effort.
"It was pretty obvious that we had 20 guys that came to play from the drop of the puck," said Stienburg. "They put a lot of passion in their game tonight."
Stienburg said the Mike Danton feature aired on Friday night played a role in bringing the team together.
"We all watched it," Stienburg said. "I think that whole thing just helps with galvanizing our team ... (and that) regardless of what happens, we've got a pretty special bunch of guys here who have great chemistry and compassion for each other."
Colby Pridham and Cody Thornton added goals for the Huskies, while rookie goaltender Neil Conway picked up the shutout with 19 saves.
Manitoba went 0-for-6 on the power play. Bisons goaltender and CIS goaltender of the year Steve Christie stopped 26 shots, but had little help.
"It took us a while to get going tonight," said Bisons coach Mike Sirant. "We were a little hesitant to start the game. That could be from a lack of experience playing in the national championships."
The early deficit forced the Bisons into a style they didn't want to play, added Maniton defenceman Stephane Lenoski.
"Once we got behind 3-0, we maybe got away a bit from the game plan," said Lenoski. "We were trying to go through the middle and make an extra move. That's not how we've been successful all year."
In the evening game, Canada West MVP and leading goal-scorer Chad Klassen scored two goals - including the game-winner - as Alberta beat the Lakehead.
Klassen, came into the tournament with a concussion and it was questionable whether or not he would play.
"I was probably the happiest guy in the building to get a couple of goals tonight," said Klassen. "Coming off the concussion, I was a little worried and a little tentative in the first game maybe (against UQTR on Thursday), and finally got my legs back. I should be good to rock (Sunday) night."
Sean Ringrose, Kyle Fecho and Ian McDonald also scored for Alberta. Brock McPherson had two for Lakehead, while Ryan Baird had the other goal.
Special teams were the difference with seven of the eight goals coming on the power play. Alberta went 4-for-7 with the man advantage while the Thunderwolves were 2-for-6.
Alberta outshot Lakehead 41-26, with Thunderwolves rookie goaltender Alex Dupuis keeping his team in the game until late.
Lakehead had some early jump, but wasn't able to sustain the pressure. That, along with penalty trouble throughout the game was Lakehead's downfall, said Thunderwolves coach Joel Scherban.
"I thought the first ten minutes we were great," Scherban said. "We had some undisciplined penalties tonight and those always come back to hurt you.
"After that, I thought our team lost our composure a bit."
Travis Yonkman picked up the win for the Golden Bears.
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