By Stephane Arnault, February 12 2015 —
The effort was there, but the Dinos women’s hockey team suffered another disappointing loss at the claws of the University of Alberta Pandas 2–0 on Feb. 7 at Father David Bauer arena.
“We played 60 minutes the way we talked about before the game and that’s the important part,” said Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette. “Sometimes you play games well and you lose.”
Calgary looked determined to snap a three-game losing skid, controlling the flow in the opening period. It took the Pandas eight minutes to register their first shot on goal. The teams were scoreless after 20 minutes.
The defensive-minded game remained scoreless until late in the second period. While on the power play, Pandas forward Natasha Steblin fired a shot on net. Forward Hannah Olenyk poked the rebound through the five-hole of Dinos netminder Hayley Dowling to make it 1–0 for the Pandas.
The Dinos took four penalties in the middle frame and spent almost half the period shorthanded.
That didn’t sit well with Goyette.
“In the second, I think the ref changed the game,” Goyette said. “She started calling penalties one after another and sometimes you wonder what she was calling. If you have four penalties in the period, it’s going to change the momentum and that’s what happened.”
The Pandas made it 2–0 halfway into the third period when forward Allison Campbell fed forward Tess Houston a pass in the slot, which she fired glove side to beat Dowling.
Pandas goalie Lindsey Post stopped all 24 shots on route to her 10th shutout this season. Her 1.19 goals-against average is second best in Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
“I think we made her look good tonight,” Goyette said. “We didn’t have any dangerous shots. We missed the net a lot and the shots we made were right in her stomach.”
Calgary’s losing streak now sits at four games. They lost the previous night to the Pandas 4–1 in Edmonton.
For the second straight game the Dinos were without their star Hayley Wickenheiser and Iya Gavrilova, who leads the league in goals scored. Both players are overseas representing their countries at the Winter Universiade.
Losers of six out of their last eight contests, the Dinos have a five-point edge on the Saskatchewan Huskies for the fourth and final playoff seed in the Canada West division.
“We’d like to have home advantage in the playoffs, but we are where we are right now and as long as these girls don’t give up and keep building week after week that’s all we can ask for,” Goyette said. “Maybe that’s what we have to do right now. If it’s losing games to build character, then so be it.”
Calgary will wrap up their regular season on Feb. 13–14 with a crucial two-game series in Winnipeg against the University of Manitoba Bisons.