By Stephane Arnault, February 26 2015 —
The Dinos women’s hockey team destroyed the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 5–1 at the Father David Bauer arena on Feb. 20.
The Dinos showed that scoring first comes easy on home ice in the playoffs after finding the back of the net in the game’s opening minute. Forward Janelle Parent’s backhander from the side of the net squeezed through Huskies goalie Cassidy Hendricks’ right pad to make it 1–0 Dinos.
A few minutes later, Erika Mitschke pushed the lead to 2–0 after deflecting forward Kate Lumley’s snap shot past Hendricks.
The Dinos came out firing early in the middle frame but Hendricks kept her team in the game by making clutch saves. The Dinos’ resiliency paid off when Parent scored her second tally of the night on a breakaway, sliding it past a sprawling Hendricks to make it 3–0 Calgary.
Calgary peppered Hendricks with 16 shots in the middle frame.
“We have some good goalies in this league, but if you keep shooting at them and put them in a difficult position we’re going to have rebounds,” said Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette.
The Dinos kept their foot on the gas pedal in the third period. Just 1:10 into the stanza, forward Bronwyn Stevens’ beat Hendricks’ blocker side to make it 4–0 Calgary.
Three minutes later, the Dinos threw salt in the Huskies’ wounds when Iya Gavrilova’s backhander fooled Hendricks glove side to put Calgary up 5–0.
However, Saskatchewan refused to throw in the towel. Defenseman Kira Bannatyne’s rocket from the point beat Dinos goalie Carissa Fischer to spoil her shutout bid.
That would be all she wrote, as the Dinos shut the door the rest of the way to take game one 5–1.
“We played three consistent periods today and that’s what we’ve been trying to do all year,” Goyette said.“I don’t think I could have asked for a better game from our team.”
Fischer made 24 saves in the victory.
“She stepped up tonight and I’m really happy with the way she played,” Goyette said. “She controlled her rebounds very well tonight. They didn’t have a lot of opportunities to get to the second or third shot.”
Fischer spoke about her performance in game one.
“It’s a great feeling,” Fischer said. “I’ve been working hard these few weeks.”
The tilt had a rambunctious playoff atmosphere thanks to a terrific crowd.
“It gets your excitement up and your blood pumping,” Fischer said.
By Sonny Sachdeva, February 26 2015
The Dinos closed out their first-round playoff series against the Huskies with a 3–2 victory on Feb. 21.
Calgary outshot the Huskies 26–17 and tallied goals in all three periods, but Saskatchewan fought back until the end.
“It was a tough game today,” said Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette. “It was a battle. We gave them a little more room today, more space to do something, but we adjusted well in the third. We came back and played our game.”
Dinos forward Jenna Smith led the way, opening the scoring 12 minutes into the first period with a quick one-timer that beat Hendricks.
However, the Huskies fought back in the second period with a goal of their own. Saskatchewan forward Kaitlin Willoughby followed up on a failed breakaway attempt to put one past Fischer, tying the game 1–1.
Four minutes later, Dinos captain Gavrilova pressed into the Huskies’ zone on a two-on-one with forward Alexandra Vafina. They dazzled the crowd with crisp passing and Gavrilova scored the go-ahead goal for the Dinos.
Calgary’s first line of Gavrilova, Vafina and Smith continued their dominance in the third period.
Five minutes into the final frame, Gavrilova put the puck on net as Smith rushed in alongside her. The initial shot was turned away, but Smith pounced on the rebound and tucked it into the cage for her second goal of the game.
The goal gave Smith her fourth point in the two-game series — the most for the Dinos and third-most among all Canada West players.
While the Huskies seemed thoroughly outmatched as the game wore on, they refused to back down.
As the clock wore down to the final minute, Gavrilova was sent to the box for tripping — her third minor penalty of the game — giving the Huskies a chance to make a late comeback.
With the Dinos already down one skater, the Huskies pulled their goaltender to make it six-on-four.
The advantage proved worthwhile as Huskies defender Julia Flinton wired one into the Dinos’ net to bring the score 3–2.
The comeback effort proved fruitless, however, as the Dinos held on to win, ending the series at 2–0.
“We asked the best of each of our players and they gave it to us,” Goyette said. “We played as a team this weekend and did what we were supposed to do.”
Calgary now advances to the second round, where they will face the No.1 ranked University of Alberta Pandas in Edmonton on Feb. 27–28.