By Ashton Chugh, March 13 2015 —
The University of Calgary women’s hockey team opened their national tournament play against the No. 1 ranked McGill University Martlets at the Markin MacPhail Centre on March 12.
The No.8 ranked Dinos got into a 3–0 deficit in the first period and were unable to mount a comeback from the penalty box, which culminated in an 8–2 loss.
The Dinos were called for eight penalties in the game, and the Martlets scored three opportunistic power-play goals, along with three empty-netters to demolish the Dinos on day one of the tournament.
“We got ourselves in trouble with penalties,” said forward Erika Mitschke, who was named player of the game for the Dinos. “We’re used to playing a physical game and sometimes when you play a team that isn’t used to playing physical, it’s easy to get calls against you. It hurt us at the end.”
The opening minutes were highly contested, evidenced by the fact that it took four minutes for either team to register a shot on net. It took the Dinos eight minutes to record a shot on goal as the Martlets dominated the puck throughout the first period.
The Martlets required a man-advantage to score their first points of the game. Dinos forward Iya Gavrilova — the reigning CIS women’s hockey player of the year — took a penalty five minutes into the game, which McGill forward Kelsie Moffatt capitalized on by tipping defenceman Michelle Daigneault’s point shot past Dinos goalie Carrissa Fischer to make it 1–0 Martlets.
McGill was the benefactor of another penalty call 9:40 into the period as the Dinos were disciplined for too many players on the ice. The Martlets had plenty of opportunities throughout the power play, culminating in a tic-tac-toe sequence by forwards Gabrielle Davidson, Brittney Fouracres and Melodie Daoust who finished the play to give McGill a 2–0 lead halfway through the period.
Two minutes later, Davidson rushed into the Dinos’ zone, and after drawing the attention of the Dinos defenders, passed to Daoust who scored top shelf on Fischer. After allowing three goals on eight shots, Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette pulled the rookie goalie in favour of Hayley Dowling. The Martlets led 3–0 after the first period.
The Dinos eventually found the back of the net 2:30 into the second period, scoring on only their fourth shot of the game. After forward Janelle Parent broke through a pair of McGill defenders, she passed off to a wide-open Gavrilova who beat the sprawling Martlets goalie Taylor Hough.
The Dinos continued to draw the ire of the ref as the second period wore on. Calgary defenceman Kelsie Lang was penalized two minutes for an illegal body check, and McGill was given their fifth power play of the game. The Martlets crashed the Dinos’ net, and forward Leslie Oles put the puck through the five-hole of Dowling to make it 4–1 at midway through the second.
“When you give so much room to a team with skill on the power play, at the end of the day you’re going to pay for it,” Goyette said.
The Dinos were given their second power play 12 minutes into the period after Martlets forward Joanne Cagianos was called for tripping. The Dinos put traffic on net and forward Chelsea Peterson managed to tip the puck in past Hough at 13:46, bringing the score to 4–2.
The goal ignited the Dinos as they continued to fire shots on Hough. However, she stood tall, and the 4–2 score was as close as the reigning CIS champion Martlets’ allowed the Dinos to get.
At the end of the second period, the shots were 20–13 in favour of McGill.
The Dinos charged out of the gates to start the third period, registering two shots on net in the opening 45 seconds.
However, the Martlets countered with Oles as she drove around the net and put Dowling off-balance, and found Davidson who buried the puck into a wide open net.
McGill led 5–2 seven minutes into the third.
The Martlets were given their seventh power play of the evening as Dinos defenceman Sarah Astle was called for roughing midway through the period. Though the Dinos did not allow a goal on this opportunity, they could not sustain their efforts.
With four minutes to go, Goyette pulled Dowling from net to gain an extra attacker. Despite this move, the Dinos could not solve Hough in the final minutes of the game, and Martlets defenceman Elizabeth Hillier quashed the Dinos remaining hope by scoring an empty-net goal from centre ice. With three minutes remaining, the Martlets were up 6–2 over the Dinos.
Adding further insult to injury, the Martlets went on to score two more goals on the Dinos before the final buzzer.
The loss means the Dinos will play the University of Guelph Gryphons for a fifth-place consolation match.
“With the tournament being in our home town we just need to go out there with a fresh game plan and leave everything on the ice,” Mitschke said.
Puck drop is at 11 a.m. on March 13 at the Markin MacPhail Centre.