Oh, there's no shortage of talent on this team. It sure is great that Calgary beats UBC and Brandon more often than not, but in order to go anywhere in the CIS they must step up their game. The most pressing area in need of improvement is defence-the team's Achilles heel. Mike Muzechka managed to nab a Conference second-team all-star spot, but overall, the back six needs a retrofit. And with goaltender Scott Rideout's retirement, will Aaron Baker, like Rideout before him, be able to carry the team next year? Up front, the Dinos are solid, but may lose some of their depth to graduation. Of note: Ken McKay had 20 goals, was a conference first-team all-star and was only six goals away from receiving 25 pounds of sizzling grade-A ground pork courtesy of the Gauntlet.
The Dinos forecheck is legendary. Scouts from as far away as Pee Dee and Wheeling were seen in the stands this year scouting the Dino's forwards. Colin Embley should receive the Selke trophy, the first non-NHL recipient of the award since… well, ever. And no one can complain about Rideout's numbers either (2.68 GAA, 1 SO). But unlike in fairytale land, effort only takes you to the gates of Championship City. Talent kicks in the door.
Scott Atkinson brought a legacy of success with him from Mount Royal College, but it's a lot to ask a coach to bring home a championship in his first year with a new program. The players speak highly of Atkinson, and he's infinitely friendlier with the media than his predecessor, so the Gauntlet will give him at least one more year to prove himself before we start shrieking for his dismissal.
At 16–9–1, the Dinos finished second in the Mountain division, which is fairly respectable. Mind you, their division features two of the stinkiest programs in the country (Lethbridge and the University of British Columbia). The Dinos dropped too many easy games this year to these perennial basement dwellers-most notably, on Jan. 11–12, two disgraceful losses to the Thunderbirds that precipitated a eight-week slump. All things considered, the Dinos should've been challenging the Bears for number one late in the season instead of fending off the Pronghorns at number three.
This team has the potential to be contenders, but it's going to take more than what they showed this year to get past U of A. They played well down the stretch evading the potential embarrassment from a mid-season slide, but eventually their inconsistency caught up to them.
Professional wrestler this team reminds me of: Wrestling is a reprehensible waste of time that should be beneath anyone with a post-secondary education.