The winter weather froze a few noses this weekend, as well as the University of Calgary men's hockeysaurs. Their attempt at getting back to their winning ways fell short during their Feb. 2-3 series in Richmond, B.C. against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The T-Birds picked the Dinos clean with a last minute 3-2 victory in the opening game and a 3-1 win Saturday night.
The Dinos found themselves in a hole early Friday night, as T-Bird Jon Kress put his team up in the first few minutes with an even-strength goal. It took a while for the hockeysaurs to gather their composure, but their strong first period offensive performance paid off in the last minutes of the opening frame. Dino Barry Horman netted his only point of the series and tied the game up at a goal apiece. The Dinos knew they would have to keep the pressure on at the offensive end and keep the T-Bird sticks quiet if they wanted to take control of the game.
Unfortunately, the Dinos never took the lead in the contest. T-Bird Scott Lynch put his team back in the lead halfway through the second, and the Dinos again found themselves trying to get their heads back in the game.
Cue Dino Aaron Richards, who always seems to be exactly where the Dinos need him to be when the game is slipping away. Richards scored the only powerplay goal of the game with six minutes left in the second period and brought his team even with the T-Birds.
Though the Dinos were able to match the T-Birds on offence, and keep the T-Birds under control with well-placed hits, it was UBC netminder Francois Thuot who stopped any chance of the Dinos making a comeback in the final period, especially in the last few minutes.
The Dinos showered shots on Thuot, but couldn't slip any past him, allowing the T-Birds to sneak away with the win. With the loss, the Dinos fell from second place in the Mountain Division. Never fear, dinosaurs are usually found at the top of the food chain, and they could smell a win Saturday night.
Sadly, the buzzards had other plans. Dino Tyrel Lucas drew first blood under two minutes into the game, a good sign for an offence that took a while to get going the previous evening. However, Lucas' goal was all the Dinos generated on the offensive end, as T-Bird netminder Gerry Festa put up another strong performance, turning away everything the Dinos threw at him.
Not only was their goaltending stellar, but the T-Birds special teams stepped up to put the Dinos away in this game. The T-Birds were able to capitalize on two of nine powerplays, and killed all 12 of the Dinos' powerplays.
The Dinos were dealt another blow on Friday night when newcomer Torrie Wheat took a hard shot in the numbers and hit the boards even harder. Wheat is out indefinitely with a separated rib and clavicle, which is the last thing the Dinos need as they head into arguably the most important series of the season against the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
"I thought it was just a concussion, but then my shoulder started to feel pretty bad," explained Wheat, first-year general studies. "It came at a pretty bad time, since I was starting to feel more like my old self out on the ice again."
With the sweep, and the shocking upset by the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns over the University of Alberta Golden Bears this weekend, the Dinos now find themselves in fourth place in the Mountain Division. The Dinos have four games left in the regular season, three of which will take place on home ice. The Dinos need to figure out how to get back in the win column, or fans won't get to see any playoff action in Calgary.