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Saskatchewan Huskies lose championship opener to Alberta Golden Bears

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WATCH ABOVE: The Alberta Golden Bears take Game 1 of the Canada West men's hockey final with a 4-3 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies at Rutherford Rink. Ryan Flaherty has highlights from the game – Mar 4, 2017

In a rematch of the 2016 Canada West final the Alberta Golden Bears did their best to ensure history would not repeat itself, beating the Saskatchewan Huskies 4-3 in Game 1 of the best-of-three series.

The Huskies swept the Golden Bears one year ago at Rutherford Rink, but if they are to repeat as conference champions they’ll need to do it in three games.

Rookie forward Cole Linaker paced the Bears attack with a goal and two assists and fellow first-year player Taylor Cooper scored twice. However, it was sophomore defenceman Graeme Craig’s goal at 8:36 that proved to be the winner.

READ MORE: City to spend $3M more on University of Saskatchewan arena project

Huskies rookie Connor Gay had two goals and one assist in a losing effort. It’s the Huskies first playoff loss this season, after they swept the Mount Royal Cougars in the semifinals.

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The Huskies power play failed to score on five opportunities, while the Bears went 0-2. Saskatchewan outshot Alberta 34-32 on the night.

The series continues Saturday night in Saskatoon. If necessary, Game 3 will be played on Sunday.

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