Dinos rout Huskies to clinch top spot

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Nicole Betker

CALGARY – A hot Calgary Dinos teamed showed they deserve to be number one in the Canada West standings as their high flying offense took down the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 5-1 Saturday Night at the WinSport Athletic & Ice Complex to sweep the weekend series.

This fast paced, penalty-filled battle clinched first place in the Canada West standings for the Dinos, ensuring them home ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs. The Dinos improve to 18-4-0 on the season while the Huskies drop to 14-6-2. Winners of nine straight games, Calgary will host a first-round Canada West playoff series for the first time ever, Feb. 17-19 at the WinSport complex.

Breanne George started the scoring off with Saskatchewan’s one and only goal on the night, shorthanded at 5:44 in the first period – but from then on it was all Calgary. Jenna Smith evened the scoring with a great second effort goal as she banged in her own rebound to put Calgary on the board at the 12:50 mark of the opening frame.

The Dinos came out flying in the second, creating some excellent scoring chances but Mackenzie Rizos stood on her head and kept the Huskies in the game.

Hayley Wickenheiser finally found a way to beat the Saskatchewan netminder midway through the period. With traffic in front of the net, the conference scoring leader waited for Rizos to go down and lifted a backhand up and over into the back of the net to put the Dinos in the lead. Just over two minutes, later Wickenheiser found the back of the net again as she banged in a loose puck on the side of the net. Wickenheiser had six shots in the period as the Dinos held the Huskies to just two shots in the frame.

The third proved to be much the same for the Dinos, as Calgary held the Huskies to just two shots on net once again in the third. Jenna Smith put in her second of the night on a power play goal assisted by Erin Davidson to give the Dinos a 4-1 lead. Calgary kept the pressure on and beat Rios for the fifth time when Stephanie Ramsay found the back of the net at 6:49 in the third.

Calgary went 2-for-13 on the power play with Amanda Tapp making ten saves in the victory, while Saskatchewan went 0-for-7 with Rios making 25 saves in the loss.

The Dinos go on the road for their final regular season series as they take on the Manitoba Bisons who currently sit fifth in the Canada West standings. The Dinos will look to improve their record while diminish the playoff hopes of the Bisons, who defeated the Calgary in the first round of the playoffs in the 2010-11 sesason. Saskatchewan returns home next week to face the UBC Thunderbirds to close their regular season.

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