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Golden Bears Sweep SK Huskies


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I guess after having soundly defeated the Huskies in Saskatoon on Friday the Golden Bears could be forgiven for thinking that they might have an easy return match yesterday at Foote Field.

It turned out to be anything but although in the end they walked away with a 3 - 1 win. Important points. Tough second half as they hung on until John Konye put away the "clincher" in the 87th minute.

It was a cold, grey day. Quite a change from the previous week-end when you could have been sunburned watching UVic and the Bears.

The Bears started off essentially as they had the previous Sunday. 5 across the back with Quenton Zalazar sweeping. The one change was Calgary's Erik Kuhn came in for Sean McElwain and partnered with Neil Morrow in the middle of the back line. He had a decent game.

The game started slowly. Neither team being able to mount much of an attack. U. of A. controlling more of the play

One thing I did note was that Mark Korthuis was significantly better this week. Much more imposing physically and technically than he had been the week before against the B.C. Teams. Must enjoy playing against his home province as I understand he had 3 goals in Saskatoon.

In about the 22nd minute Brett Bachelu had an opportunity which once again was squandered as his finishing continued to abandon him. Shortly thereafter John Konye hit the crossbar and the follow-up header off the rebound by Morrow was saved the SK keeper.

In the 27th minute Zalazar flighted a nice free kick from the right side into the goal area which Morrow met solidly heading it into the right side of the net to give the Bears the lead.

That seemed to energize the Bears as they had a number of half chances.

In the 36 minute Bachelu began a lateral run right to left in the 18 yard box and he was brought down just as was trying to shoot resulting in a yellow card for the defender and a penalty. Although Bachelu continues to have problems with his finishing, that was not the case with the penalty which he calmly and firmly put away to give the Bears a two goal lead.

More chances ensued but poor shooting and control precluded more goals although the SK had a couple of chances where strong running [something they exhibited all game] almost resulted in opportunities. The U of A keeper Devon Fraser did well on a couple of occasions to get out to the edge of his area to smother through balls.

The half ended with the Bears holding a deserved 2 goal lead.

The second half began with Michael Collins coming into the mid-field for SK. He made an immediate impact. The Huskies were much the better in the early going. Christian Leon-Fluent, Ronny Torres and Philip Kapronczai [may have got the names wrong as I am relying upon the program and some of the numbers may be incorrect] all made strong individual runs and were linking up better as SK sought a goal.

Collins provided that in about the 52nd minute. He controlled the ball well in the midst of several U of A defenders beat a couple and put the ball solidly into the net.

U of A was having a difficult time on their right side. Daniel Sharp came in for Eric Baranowski at right fullback but was then subbed back out after a number of chances or half chances down SK's left flank.

I am assuming that in the CIS you can sub in and out rather than once you have been subbed you are out for the game. I remember one year when UBC was being coached by Mosher senior that it was like watching a hockey game. He kept subbing in and out wingers on a regular basis. They would run, run, run. Come out, get a breather and then back into the match.

It was "all hands to the pumps" thereafter as at times there appeared to be 5 or 6 SK players lined up in attack.

SK won most of the 50/50 balls and just seemed to be a step quicker.

#10 in particular [who I think is Leon-Fluent]playing central striker had a number of good chances. A couple of nice saves by the U of A keeper and another where he successfully rounded the diving keeper only to run out of room and too much of a poor angle when it came to finishing.

With so many players sent up into the attack it seemed strange that U of A could not catch them on the break. As was the case the week before they had trouble linking up. Too many long balls not going to feet. Most clearances whether from the defence or the keeper were dealt with by SK, who although not particularly tall, dominated in the air with many not even being contested by a Golden Bear.

However, just when it seemed that their late game defensive whoes would plague them again, Korthuis came to their rescue. He collected a ball on the right side of midfield, controlled it, looked up and sent a well weighted pass to Jordan Gillespie [who also had a better game this week but still not as dominating as last year] who broke into the area from the left side and struck the ball soldidly. The SK keeper did well to block the initial shot but could not control the ball which fell to Konye who did not panic and put it away.

So the Bears took the required six points from these two games and now I expect hope to get some help from the BC teams taking points off each other if they are to make it into the play-offs.

Ditty: if you are reading this the Calgarian Kuhn had a solid game. Looks a tad slow but that may just be as a result of his height. He gets where he needs to be and is solid in the tackle. There is no game this upcoming Thanksgiving week-end but I do not know if he will be joining his Callies' team mates in PEI for the Challenge Cup or not.

Alex Campos came in for the last few minutes after the game was essentially over.

Daniel Nielsen did not play.

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