By Sonny Sachdeva, September 24 2015 —
The Dinos men’s hockey team took the ice at the Markin MacPhail Centre on Sept. 16 to face the Calgary Flames prospects at the peak of both groups’ exhibition schedule.
While the Dinos seemed to match up well with the prospects at certain points in the game, the finishing ability of the latter group proved to be the difference as the Flames prospects piled up four goals in the first period en route to a 5–1 victory.
Dinos head coach Mark Howell believes his club’s decisive defeat was caused largely by their own shortcomings.
“We didn’t play responsibly. We didn’t play hard to start the game,” Howell said. “I thought in the third period we had lots of chances and controlled part of the play, but that’s three games in a row where we’re not as prepared as we need to play.”
While the Dinos certainly did themselves no favours, the elite skill of the Flames prospects played a key role in exacerbating these issues.
“We got caught cheating on the wrong side of the puck, gave up a bunch of odd-man rushes in the first period and they scored on all of them,” Howell said.
Dinos forward Coda Gordon, who was drafted by the Flames in 2012, scored the lone goal for U of C, deflecting in a shot from defenceman Drydn Dow with just under six minutes remaining in the final frame.
But the goal came only after the Flames prospects had piled up five tallies in spectacular fashion. Pavel Karnaukhov led the way with two goals, while Morgan Klimchuk, Tyson Baillie and Kenney Morrison tallied for the Flames as well.
Though the Dinos didn’t get the result they were looking for, the team still appreciates the chance to suit up against some of the top young talents in the sport.
“We felt like we could skate with them,” Dinos forward Spencer Edwards said. “We didn’t really put together our best effort tonight, which is unfortunate. But any time you get to play against players of that calibre, it’s a great learning block for our team — as individuals and as a group.”
The Dinos are now looking ahead to the rest of their preseason schedule, which continues with a two-day trip to Regina to face the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Sept. 18 and the University of Manitoba Bisons on Sept. 19.
The club returns home to face the University of Regina at Max Bell Arena in back-to-back games on Sept. 25–26.