November 8, 2013, CALGARY (ISN) – Shaking off the rust, the University of Calgary Dinos were victorious in their return from the bye-week as they earned a 3-1 decision over the No. 10 University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday night at the Father David Bauer Arena.
The game was headlined as the biggest task of the season for the third-ranked Dinos. Each team had their own time of dominance in the match, but ultimately the deciding factor was two late first period goals by the Dinos. Kris Lazaruk had one of his best games of the season in a 28-save performance for Calgary.
The Huskies will look to improve on their 4-5-0 record tomorrow night as they battle the 9-0-0 Dinos again with a 6 p.m. puck drop at the Father David Bauer Arena.
“It’s always good to put wins on the board, we responded well at the end of the first and were really good in the second,” said Dinos head coach Mark Howell. “In the third they really outplayed us. Lazaruk was fantastic to keep us in the game.”
Getting caught on their heels in the opening minutes and being outplayed physically, Calgary conceded the game’s first goal at the 2:51 of the first period. A shot by Matthew Spafford was juggled in midair by Lazaruk before falling across the line for a goal. The tally was Spafford’s first of the year and was assisted by Sean Aschim.
“They definitely came out hard and it surprised us a bit,” explained rookie Danny Gayle. “Coming off the bye-week a few of the guys were rusty but that wasn’t an excuse since they were coming off a bye-week as well.”
At 5:11 of the first, the Dinos knotted the score at one. After Chris Collins drove towards the net, a scrum ensued in front of Saskatchewan netminder Ryan Holfeld. The puck was poked out into the slot where Giffen Nyren wired his sixth of the season past the Huskies’ goaltender.
Calgary took their first lead of the game with under five minutes left in the period as they connected on the man advantage. Getting a shot through a maze of legs and through the five-hole of Holfeld was Kodie Curran as he registered his second goal of the season.
Taking advantage of what was a sloppy first 20 minutes for both clubs, Gayle scored his first goal of the Dinos in his first game as he grabbed the puck at open ice and launched it top shelf over the Saskatchewan ‘tender.
“I hadn’t played in a while so it was a little nerve-racking but I think I got the hang of it pretty quickly and it was nice to score,” said Gayle.
Following a four-goal opening frame, the second saw a much better defensive effort by both teams. Calgary carried the majority of the play as they took control of the shot clock with a 21-13 advantage through 40 minutes.
The best chance of the middle stanza came in the first minute as Lazaruk stoned a Saskatchewan forward point-blank to keep it a two-goal game.
The third period saw Calgary run into penalty trouble, but thanks to the goaltending of Lazaruk, the Dinos were able to hold their ground. The third-year netminder turned aside 16 shots in the final frame while standing as the team’s best penalty killer on four shorthanded situations.
The Dinos were 1-4 on the power play, while the Huskies went 0-6.
Dinos’ hockey will see their first taste of regular-season Crowchild Classic action next week as they play a home-and-home set with the Mount Royal Cougars from Nov. 15-16. The teams will battle at the Father David Bauer on Nov. 16 with a 6 p.m. puck drop.
On Nov. 15-16, Saskatchewan will return to their home barn and battle the UBC Thunderbirds.