Not having won a game since the new year, the Dinos men's hockey team needed a victory against the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Bisons ranked ten points ahead of the fourth-place Dinos. The games took place on Dinos' home ice Jan. 21-22.
Friday's first period started slowly, with no real action until Manitoba broke the scoreless draw with a powerplay goal 6:41 into the first. Less than a minute later, the visitors added to their lead with a short-handed goal, putting them up by a pair.
The Dinos fought back hard, peppering Bison goaltender Krister Towes with 16 shots in the first period alone. Brent Gibson finally put the Dinos on the board at the 15:30 mark with Wesley Reid and Drew Campbell assisting the effort. Before the first period could expire, Wade Davis made the most of a Manitoba cross-checking penalty by netting the Dinos first powerplay goal of 2005. Ryan Annesley and Lonny Tetley assisted on the tying goal.
Despite chances for both teams, no further damage was done during the middle frame. Calgary managed eight shots on goal to Manitoba's nine, and took three penalties while the Bisons only had two. However, Calgary did kill off a short two-man advantage near the middle of the period when Brent Gibson got called for tripping and joined teammate Wade Davis in the box.
Less than thirty seconds into the final period, the Bisons took the lead yet again. This time they never looked back. Though the game remained close as Calgary sought the equalizer, Towes kicked away all 12 shots to preserve the victory for his team. Meanwhile, the Manitoba forwards put the game out of reach in the final five minutes, scoring two goals to bring the final score to a 5-2 loss for the home team.
Saturday night, the Dinos were determined to end their five-game winless streak. They switched up goalies and went with Donald Choukalos instead of Scott Talbot for the second half of the double header.
The game started out slowly, with a lot of penalties but no scoring until Calgary's Gable Gross converted a pass from captain Bracken Kearns into a one-goal lead for the home team at 12:49. Then, ten seconds after Bison Kevin Saurette got called for unsportsmanlike conduct, Lonny Tetley added a powerplay marker to put his team up by two heading into the first intermission.
Reminiscent of the night before, the second period consisted of penalties and excellent goaltending at both ends of the ice to keep it a 2-0 game heading into the third.
Despite heavy pressure from the Bisons, Calgary defense--led by Choukalos standing tall in net--drove off the onslaught of shots and chances. However, the Bisons ended Choukalos's shut out bid a little over three minutes in to the period, then fought to tie the game.
With Calgary clinging desperately to their one-goal lead, they got an excellent break when Manitoba's Grant Jacobsen took a five-minute slashing penalty at 17:25, giving Calgary the man advantage for the remainder of the night. When the Bisons pulled Towes to play five-on-five in hopes of salvaging a point out of the evening, Calgary's Alex Lalonde put the game away with a minute to go by firing the puck into the empty net, bringing the final score to 3-1.
The win gives Calgary its first of 2005, and brings them to a 7-8-5 record with only four weeks left in the season. They face a tough battle Jan. 28-29 against the second-place University of Saskatchewan Huskies at Father David Bauer Arena.
Games begin at 7 p.m.