By Kristy Koehler, January 17 2019 —
Dinos Ringette had a busy winter. The athletes spent their semester break in Waterloo, Ontario, winning their second-consecutive University Challenge Cup. With the win, the Dinos earned their 10th UCC victory and become the most successful team in the history of the championship.
Emily Drake, veteran Dinos goaltender, said while it was a busy way to spend her break, it was worth it.
“It was really exciting,” she said. “We played nine games in five days, so a little more than usual.”
Drake says that there were several highlights to the weekend, not least of which included winning.
“We brought the trophy to Waterloo and we brought it home,” said Drake of being defending champions. The other highlight? Beating the University of Lethbridge Longhorns, the Dinos’ main ringette rivals.
“It was cool because we hadn’t beat them all season yet. We tied them twice and lost to them twice so this was kind of our big chance to have redemption,” Drake said.
The Dinos went 7–1–1 in the tournament. Their sole loss was to Carleton University, who finished third overall. Western University delivered their lone tie.
The championship game against Lethbridge ended up with the Dinos defeating the Longhorns 5–4.
“We had a two-goal lead until about five minutes left,” said Drake of the grudge match. “They scored one to make it 5–4 and the last five minutes were a bit crazy and hectic. They were trying to make a big push to score the equalizer and we held them off.”
Overall, Drake says the best thing about the tournament was the elevation of play she witnessed from her team.
“Everyone really stepped it up and was firing on all cylinders. It was the best I’d played all season to this point and I think that’s probably true for all of our team. Everyone was ready to embrace the experience and wanted to perform really well,” she said. “We faced some trouble with penalties the first couple of days. Facing that adversity and playing a lot of the games shorthanded but still being able to pull out some wins and overcome those issues was really cool to see.”
The Dinos are back on the ice and facing a different challenge as the winter semester gets underway. In addition to their university play, the Dinos compete in the Open A division of the Calgary Open Ringette Association, a city-wide league. They are hoping to capture a provincial title.
Drake has a good feeling about winning a title in both leagues.
“I have high hopes. We really grew as a team and it was super exciting to see. The first day, we came out flying. We surprised everyone. Right now we’re riding a high and we’re in a really good spot to continue this success,” she said. “I think we’ll see a lot of success during the second half. We’re in a good place.”
Fans can catch the Dinos Ringette squad for the next two Mondays at the Village Square Leisure Centre at 8:45 p.m. The full schedule is available online at calgaryopenringette.com