The CIAU battle of Alberta resumed last weekend in men's hockey. For the second time this season the University of Calgary Dinos faced the number-one-ranked team in the country, the University of Alberta Golden Bears. This home-and-home series marked the beginning of the winter schedule for both teams.
The last time these squads met the Dinos lost and tied. Therefore it was important for the U of C, who struggled in the first half, to get a good start to the new year. As for the Golden Bears, their record still stands perfectly intact without a loss in the regular season.
Friday's affair, which took place in Edmonton, saw the Dinos take an early lead on the undefeated Bears. Calgary's strong offence and solid goaltending helped increase their lead in the second period and the U of C went into the dressing room in front 3-2. Despite strong penalty killing, the Dinos were unable to hold their dominance over the well-oiled machine of the green and gold. The Bears scored quickly in the third to even the affair and shortly thereafter took their first lead of the game. However, the Dinos offence immediately responded and tied the game once again, but this would not be enough as the Bears would score twice more to defeat the visiting Dinos 6-4.
"It's as if we were surprised to be leading," remarked Captain Judd Casper. "We didn't finish the game that we had started. I think we sat back and tried to defend the lead instead of going after them in the third."
The second part of the home-and-home series brought the Dinos back to Calgary in front of the biggest crowd this season at the Father David Bauer Arena. Once again the strong play of the Dinos gave
them the early lead when Scott Fukami opened the scoring half way through the first period. Calgary's fired up offence outshot the Bears 12-5.
Second period action saw the U of A tie the game only one minute in. The Dinos' powerplay responded appropriately as Dallas Fallscheer ripped a shot from the point that once again put Calgary on top. In typical fashion, the Golden Bears answered with another late period marker that tied the game and pushed it once again to the third period to determine the winner.
A seemingly tired U of C team looked unprepared for the third. Hope that the Dinos would get at least one point from the weekend was erased when the strong Alberta team put their third goal behind a sprawling Scott Rideout. Eventually the Bears were able to put one more between the pipes, which all but put the game away. The U of A now extends their unbeaten streak to 29 games, and the struggling Dinos fall below .500 for the second time this season.
The U of C will face the University of Regina at home this weekend, Jan. 12-13.