We are right to demand perfection from million-dollar athletes. Professionals are paid more money in a year than most people will see in a lifetime, so in return, fans should expect nothing short of excellence. And if you'll pardon the cliché, for those athletes winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.
However, in amateur athletics the expectations should be lower. For Head Coach Kathy Berg and her Dinos women's hockey program, success cannot be measured by the number of ticks in the win column. Stripped of its core strength a year ago--thanks to a Canada West rule prohibiting any AAA players from competing at the university level--this year's squad weighs the small victories more heavily than the end result.
"We will be in a rebuilding phase for at least the next two or three years, so I don't think our record is indicative of how our team is doing," said Berg of their 1-5-0 record at the halfway point of the season. "The rule hurt us, but we don't dwell on it. We concentrate on improving instead of just winning because we know we're not going to beat [the number one ranked] U of A."
Team captain and fifth-year defenceman Nancy Scholz agreed with her coach.
"This team is a lot better than it was last year at this time," she said. "We have a lot of new girls and they have all taken an ownership in this team. Everyone has a really good attitude this year and as a result we improve all the time."
After last weekend's series with the University of Alberta, the Dinos finally get a break from the conference grind. The girls' next game will be in 2002 when they do battle with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Jan. 3-4 in a home and home series. The Dinos sole victory of the year came courtesy of the 'Horns Nov. 17.