After three weeks of Canada West hockey, the UBC Thunderbirds and Lethbridge Pronghorns are finally out of the gate - with differing levels of success.
The T-Birds hosted the Alberta Golden Bears this weekend in their first action of the regular season, and came away with a split against the defending conference champions.
Friday night saw UBC score three unanswered goals to come from behind and beat the Bears 4-2 thanks in part to a goal and an assist from Dalton Pajak. Real Cyr suffered the loss in goal for Alberta, while the T-Birds' Jordan White got the win.
In the second game of the weekend, Alberta came out with more jump to score a 6-2 win with rookie Kurtis Mucha in between the pipes as head coach Eric Thurston stuck with the same rotation of goaltenders he employed two weeks ago against Calgary.
Chad Klassen was the catalyst in the bounce back for the Bears, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist.
UBC hosts Calgary next weekend, while the Bears return to Clare Drake Arena to take on Lethbridge for two games.
In Lethbridge Friday, the Pronghorns came up just short in their home opener with a 5-4 shootout loss at the hands of the Calgary Dinos.
After falling behind 4-1 going into the third, the 'Horns came storming back with goals from Ryan Pottruff, Nicholas Hotson, and Dustin Moore to send things into overtime.
The extra frame would solve nothing, with Taylor Rovatti's lone shootout goal proving to be the difference-maker for the Dinos as they picked up their first win of the season.
In the second leg of the home-and-home, extra time would once again be needed, after the two sides were tied at 1-1 after 60 minutes.
Jerrid Sauer would provide the overtime heroics, scoring 2:09 into overtime to lift the Dinos to the sweep.
In the third series of the weekend, the Regina Cougars once again looked like two very different teams, but for the third time in as many weeks were able to pick up a series split in their home-and-home with the Saskatchewan Huskies.
After eking out a 2-1 win Friday in Saskatoon thanks in large part to a 33 save performance from rookie netminder A.J. Whiffen, Regina came out and got spanked Saturday night at home 9-1. Brennan Bosch, Jason Wagar and Andrew Bailey all had two goal efforts for Saskatchewan Saturday in the win.
Whiffen got the start again in goal in the Saturday game for Blaine Sautner's team, but was pulled after surrendering five goals on 23 shots in the first.
Despite another tale of two very different games, the Cougars picked up another split in what has been a tough stretch of their schedule facing both Saskatchewan and Manitoba over the first six games.
Regina will enjoy a bye next weekend, while Saskatchewan plays host to Manitoba.