By Sonny Sachdeva, March 13 2015 —
The Dinos men’s hockey team saw their quest for a national championship end quickly as the team was dropped 3–1 in the University Cup quarterfinals by the University of Guelph Gryphons.
In front of 3,738 fans on March 12 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, the Dinos gave all they had in an effort to capture their first-ever University Cup. But they were simply unable to beat the Gryphons’ outstanding netminder, Andrew D’Agostini.
D’Agostini stood tall for Guelph all game, turning aside 41 shots from the Dinos and weathering four Calgary power plays to keep his team on top.
“You need to play 60 minutes to win at this tournament,” said Dinos head coach Mark Howell. “We could not find the back of the net or the consistency needed.”
The opening period was a close battle. Guelph came out as the stronger of the two in the first stanza, outshooting the Dinos 12–7 and drawing first blood in the last minute of the period.
Gryphons forward Teal Burns tallied the opening goal. Awarded their third power play of the first period, the Gryphons showcased crisp passing, moving the puck from the point down to the goal line and then into the slot before Burns slipped in and wired it into the back of the cage.
After a scoreless second period that saw Guelph outshoot the Dinos once again, Calgary managed to tie the game 56 seconds into the third period.
A dazzling display by Dinos forward Chris Collins tied it up. Collecting the puck in his own zone, Collins raced up ice, cutting through Gryphons defenders in the neutral zone and powering past another as he approached the net.
Sweeping the puck from right to left as he cut into the slot, Collins waited out D’Agostini before beating him with a low shot, tying the score 1–1.
However, the Dinos’ glory was short-lived, as the Gryphons regained the lead four minutes later when forward Carlos Amestoy beat Dinos goaltender Kris Lazaruk for Guelph’s second goal.
Outshot heavily in the third by a margin of 17–6, Calgary was unable to find the goals needed to get back in the game.
An insurance marker from Gryphons forward Seth Swenson at 16:57 of the final period sealed the Dinos’ fate.
The loss leaves the Dinos’ 2015 University Cup run as unsuccessful as their last in 2011.
After taking down the Dinos, Guelph was defeated in the semi-finals by the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, but went on to finish in third place after topping the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriots in the bronze-medal match.
The University of Alberta Golden Bears, who beat out the Dinos for the Canada-West crown, defeated the Varsity Reds in the finals to capture their second consecutive national championship.