CALGARY- In front of an exhilarating, CIS record-breaking 12,859 fans the University of Calgary Dinos defeated the Mount Royal University Cougars in double overtime, 2-1, Thursday Jan. 21st at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.
“It feels really good to finally get one in the Saddledome,” explained fifth year defenceman Max Ross. “Mount Royal is a good team, we’re not far behind them so we need to gather all the points we can get right now and this was a huge two points for us. We need to make sure we finish off the sweep tomorrow.”
With the crowd behind them cheering them on and making the Saddledome deafening, the Dinos would win their first Crowchild Classic at the Dome since it’s first installment in 2013.
“Guys were excited, it was really awesome to see the thousands of UC fans out there cheering us on,” states Ross.
Playing around in neutral ice for the majority of the first period, neither team could find the back of the net to claim the first goal. Calgary wasn’t short on opportunities however, with two power plays. Mount Royal’s goaltender Cam Lanigan stopped all six shots fired his way.
Just two minutes into the second period on an end-to-end rush, Ross toe-dragged around a Cougar in front of Lanigan and put the puck upstairs to claim the first goal of the night.
Minutes after making a highlight reel save, robbing Cougars captain Matthew Brown who was alone in front with his glove, the Cougars redeemed themselves and beat Dinos net minder Steven Stanford to tie the game one-one. Matt Bellerive used a Dino as a screen and beat Stanford just under his glove mid-way through the third period.
Neither team could break the tie, sending the game to overtime.
Scoring chances were exchanged in the first overtime but a cross-crease toe save by Stanford kept the Dinos in the game, sending it to double overtime.
Only 24 seconds into double overtime, Cougars’ Brown took a double minor high stick with blood drawn, giving the Dinos a four-on-three four-minute power play.
The Dinos had several opportunities to end the game in the first half of the Cougars’ penalty. Chris Collins cut across the front of the Cougars net and hit the cross-bar, but it would be Ross to the rescue. On a point shot from Elgin Pearce, Cain Franson battled for the puck in front before Ross pulled the puck across and made no mistake putting it in and ending the game.
“We talked after the game and knew how important these two points were but at the same time we need all the points we can get. We’re refocusing for tomorrow now,” explains Ross.
The two teams will face off again tomorrow evening. Puck is set to drop at seven o’clock at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.