By Stephane Arnault, November 6 2014 —
The University of Calgary men’s hockey team (6–2–0) extended their winning streak to five games with a 2–0 victory against the Saskatchewan Huskies (4–4–0) at Father David Bauer Arena on Oct. 31.
Dinos goaltender Kris Lazaruk was a key part of the win, stopping all 29 shots he faced. His performance showed why he leads the league in goals against average (0.80) and save percentage (0.963).
“He was lights out,” said Dinos head coach Mark Howell. “Without him in the first and the second frame we would have been in a lot of trouble. We played a really loose game but Laz was outstanding.”
The Dinos opened the scoring two minutes into the second period. Spence Edwards’ shot took a lucky bounce to Elgin Pearce, who fired home his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Dylan Walchuk picked up an assist on the play.
The Huskies offence woke up in the second stanza, firing 12 shots at Lazaruk.
Davis Vandane scored midway into the third with a his slap shot from the point that found its way through traffic. The power-play goal, Vandane’s first tally of the season, put the Dinos ahead 2–0.
“When we made it 2–0, I thought we played better,” Howell said. “We took a big breath and relaxed and checked a little harder. We got more committed to the right things instead of playing loose.”
The entire league had last week off, which could have accounted for the Dinos’ sluggish first two periods.
“It’s always tough to come out after two weeks off,” Lazaruk said. “Coach preached that we’ve got to come out hard and you know we did at times. We had glimpses of that, but the third period is where we really showed our true colours.”
Lazaruk’s trapper was his best friend, as he made several highlight-worthy glove saves.
“I was out of position a couple of times, and my glove saved me on a couple goals,” Lazaruk said. “It’s always nice to flash the leather, especially for the crowd.”
Saskatchewan led 29–27 in shots. It was the first time Calgary was outshot this season.
“It’s nice to get frequent shots you know. It keeps me in the game mentally,” Lazaruk said.
Lazaruk extended his shutout streak to over 160 minutes.
The two teams are heading in opposite directions. The Dinos have won five games in a row, while the Huskies have lost five straight.
Howell said that although the Dinos currently sport a winning streak, there’s still room for improvement.
“We have to play way quicker. I thought we were just half a step if not a step late on everything,” Howell said. “We’ve got to continue to remind ourselves how hard you have to play to get points in this league.”
The Dinos won the special teams battle, going one for three on power play. The Huskies went zero for two.
The Dinos will face the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds on Nov. 7.