Hockey: CW recap - Wild weekend features trio of splits

Bears-Bisons break even - It was a big weekend in Winnipeg this weekend between the conference's top two teams, the Alberta Golden Bears and Manitoba Bisons, where neither team could make a decisive statement in a series split.

A pair of goals Friday from Kyle Howarth were the difference for the Herd in a 4-2 win that included an empty netter, with the bright spot on the night for Alberta coming in the form of Derek Ryan's penalty shot marker on Steve Christie in the third.

That penalty shot was the second of the night, with Blair Macaulay coming up short during his time in the spotlight, with Bears' Kurtis Mucha stopping Macaulay's attempt in the first period.

Saturday night it was the Chad Klassen show, with the conference's leading scorer factoring in on all three of Alberta's goals, including netting his 11th and 12th goals of the season in a 3-2 Bears win. Kurtis Mucha got the win Saturday, as it appears he's been anointed as the number-one netminder for Alberta over veteran Real Cyr.

The Bears head into the break with a 11-2-1 record and are five points clear of Manitoba for top spot in the conference.

Bowles brilliant, then burnt - It seems last weekend's impressive performances against Alberta proved to earlier to signal a more consistent Saskatchewan Huskies team had arrived after the Sled Dogs split against Lethbridge over the weekend.

Friday night Lethbridge was looking very much like the team we've come accustomed to during the Scott Bowles era - one that gives up nearly 50 shots and rides Bowles' hot hand to victory. A 4-2 result Friday despite giving up 47 shots was a welcome win for the 'Horns, with Kris Snopek's two goals big for head coach Greg Gatto's squad.

After a monster performance Friday night, Bowles would look human Saturday surrendering 10 goals on 37 shots, suffering through all of the Huskies goals. Steven DaSilva continued his strong play of late with a hat-trick, with Kyle Bortis' five point evening also key for Saskatchewan in a lopsided 10-1 win.

Saskatchewan finishes the first half of the season sporting a respectable 8-6-0 record which is tied with Calgary for third in the conference. Luckily for Lethbridge, their first half isn't over just yet, as they'll host UBC next weekend in the lone Canada West series of December. The Pronghorns will be looking to get the foul taste of a 10-1 loss washed away before the break.

Dinos split in Riderville - With half the population of Regina in Edmonton this weekend for the Grey Cup, the Regina Cougars and Calgary Dinos split their final games of the first half.

It was all Calgary Friday night when Brock Nixon, Colton Grant and Taylor Rovatti's first goal as a Dino were all the offence in a 3-0 Calgary win. Dustin Butler stopped all 27 Regina shots to pick up his first career shutout.

Saturday the Cougars took advantage on four of their ten powerplay opportunities, and withstood a late surge from the Dinos to hold onto a 6-5 win. Dillon Johnstone had a pair for Regina, while Reid Jorgenson maintained a share of the conference goal scoring lead picking up his 12th of the season. Kris Lazaruk got the start for Calgary surrendering five goals on 23 shots, before giving way for Butler who started the third and gave up a goal on eight shots.

Calgary heads into the break with a 7-5-2 record and a share of third in the conference, while Regina 6-10-0 in the first half, and could see themselves in the cellar of the conference before Christmas with Lethbridge playing next weekend and sitting only a point back of the Cougars in the standings.
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