Ah, the David vs. Goliath parable... staple of the disinterested sports writer and provider of hope to outmatched athletes all over Christendom. Surely, the University of Calgary women's hockey team must be conjuring images of the biblical David these days as their death-march to the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union Women's Hockey Championship continues. The only problem is, to emerge victorious at the Feb. 22-25 tournament, the host Dinos will need to slay not one, but several Goliaths.
Yes, the 1-14-1 Dinos will indeed be in tough. The two-time champion Concordia University Stingers (6-1-1) have already clinched a spot. The University of Toronto (22-0) is all-but-confirmed as the Ontario University Athletics representative while St. Francis Xavier University represents the Atlantic University Athletics Association. The CIAU West spot will go to either the Regina Cougars (13-1) or the University of Alberta Pandas (13-1-2)--both of whom creamed the U of C this year. The other spot will go to either the Université du Québec à Trois-Riveières (3-4-1) or McGill University (2-6-0). Hopefully, the Dinos will play at least one game against these patsies.
The odds are definitely against these bad-news Dinos. At press time, Bally's Las Vegas posted 100-1 odds against the Dinos scoring a goal during the tournament and 5000-1 against them winning.
Basically, in order to win, the Dinos must catch Goliath on a bad day. Calgary's altitude will work in the Dinos' favour against the teams from out East. Alberta or Regina may be tired from their one game playoff to determine CIAU West champion. In addition, the Dinos will need their goalie to do more than stand on her head--they'll need her to literally perform miracles. The defence, which has shown promise at times, needs to play as aggressively and cohesively as some of their opposition did against them this year. And the Dino's offence? Well, not only do they need to emerge from wherever they're hibernating, but they're going to have to play the games of their lives.
The Dinos can play a lot better than they have done in recent weeks, but will they? Will they seem like they belong at this tournament or will the other teams turn down their nose at the "undeserving" hosts? Odds are their chances will improve slightly if fans show up to support them. Games start 3:00 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 22 at the Olympic Oval. Check www.godinos.com for full schedule and updated details.