By David Song, December 7 2018 —
The University of Calgary Dinos women’s hockey team fell 3–2 to the visiting University of Manitoba Bisons on Dec. 1. Despite a quick strike to open the game, the Dinos were unable to hold the lead against the #2-ranked Bisons, who gained momentum as the contest progressed.
Fourth-year forward Chelsea Court opened the scoring at 3:58 of the first period with the first shot on net by either team. Pouncing on a turnover by the Bisons defence, she rifled a wrister past netminder Erin Fargey to give the Dinos a 1–0 lead.
“The puck popped out in the slot,” Court said. “[The Bisons] D gave it up, and I just put it on net and it happened to go in.”
Roughly 10 minutes later, the Bisons evened the score with Dinos defender Kira Makuk in the penalty box for slashing. Jordyn Zacharias found herself open in front of the net and ripped a power play goal past Dinos goaltender Kira Wasylak.
The Dinos were gifted with a pair of second-period power plays but were unable to solve a dominant Bisons penalty kill. Instead, Manitoba’s Lauryn Keen found the back of the net on a short-handed breakaway midway through the second, beating Wasylak over the glove to make it 2–1. The goal was Keen’s fourth of the weekend after a hat-trick performance last Friday against Calgary.
“We’ve been talking to the D every single time,” Dinos assistant coach Alison Goodman said in response to her team’s power play miscues. “If you don’t have a lane to the net, you’ve got to get it deep behind the net. So it’s unfortunate that [the Bisons] were able to capitalize on that.”
Errors continued to plague the Dinos, who would go 0-for-5 on the power play. Diane Hitchings misfired on a two-on-one near the end of the second period that would have drawn Calgary even. Wasylak continued to perform well, denying multiple odd-man rushes throughout the game, but Bisons forward Kaitlyn Chatyrbok cashed in on a breakaway at 12:53 of the third frame to put the visitors up 3–1.
The Dinos managed some pushback as first-year Carley Wlad found herself part of a three-on-one rush. Driving through the middle of the ice, she took a pass from Sage Desjardins and roofed the puck with five minutes left to play, cutting the lead to 3–2.
“I saw that [Desjardins] was going down the wall and the other defenceman was behind me, so I tried to pick my speed up and get into open ice,” Wlad said about her first point of the season. “She passed it and I shot it on net.”
The Bisons held on, ultimately outshooting the Dinos 18–15 en route to a 3–2 victory. The Dinos pulled Wasylak in an unsuccessful bid for the equalizer.
“It’s not like we don’t put effort into our games,” Goodman remarked. “Tonight we made some silly mistakes that can’t happen at this level. We’ve got to definitely play smarter, but it’s getting there.”
With this loss, plus a 2–1 setback to the University of Alberta Pandas on Sunday, the Dinos will enter 2019 with a 2–12–2 record and plenty of work ahead. Canada West hockey resumes on Jan. 4.