CALGARY – In the opening game of their weekend series, the University of Calgary Dinos dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at Father David Bauer arena in Calgary.
The Huskies started the game showing why they were last years Canada West runners up, pressuring the Dinos with both a strong backcheck, and consistent offensive pressure. Both teams played physically in the first frame, taking two penalties a piece. However, Dinos goalie Matt Greenfield was the story of the first period, recording three tough saves on thirteen shots to keep the game scoreless after one.
“That is what you expect when you play Saskatchewan,” explained Greenfield regarding the Huskies’ fast-start. “They are going to come at you hard and put pucks in the net.”
The second period continued with the same intensity as the first, with both teams pressing across the 200 foot ice. After an early too many men penalty by the Dinos, the Huskies capitalized with Kendall McFaull scoring a power play goal 3:15 into the second frame. The Dinos responded minutes later as fourth year defenseman Dylan Busenius made the most of a delayed penalty call, burying a wrist shot to tie the game at one.
The remainder of the second period saw both teams trade chances. After a couple more Huskies chances that were turned away by Greenfield, the Dinos almost took the lead on a shorthanded opportunity. After Tim Vanstone intercepted a Huskies pass, he skated down the ice and found a trailing Ryan Gagnon whose backhand was stopped by Jordon Cooke.
The third period saw the Dinos with an early power play opportunity three and a half minutes in after a boarding penalty to the Huskies. Although the Dinos were unable to capitalize, they were able to match the Huskies’ pace, trading opportunities with the number two team in the Canada West standings. Two time reigning Canada West goalie of the year Jordon Cooke, and Dinos second year goalie Matt Greenfield were especially sharp in the third, pushing the game to overtime.
In the extra frame, the Dinos came out firing with chance after chance. Fifth year defenseman Drydn Dow was a catalyst for many of the opportunities, as he jumped into the rush to try create the game winning goal.
“I thought in overtime we carried most of the play,” notes coach Howell. “We had some good opportunities.”
After five minutes of overtime where the Dinos outshot the Huskies 5-1, the teams entered another overtime frame. Due to a late scrum, the Dinos started the second extra frame on the powerplay, but were unable to capitalize. The game would then head to a shootout where Connor Gay scored for the Huskies, while Jordon Cooke stopped all three Dinos shooters.
“To win games like this you got to do it longer and harder than the other [team] and they did,” said Mark Howell in assessing his team tonight.
The Dinos and Huskies will rematch tomorrow night, and as Mark Howell explains, the Dinos must learn from this game.
“We just got to learn. We just got to continue to learn what it takes to win. They are a good, strong, fast, hard-hitting team. If you want to win, you got [play] like that.”
The rematch is set for 6 p.m. tomorrow night at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.