David Moll
David Moll

Thunderbirds send Dinos south in standings

By Eric Licis, November 13 2014 —

Coming off a three-game losing streak, the University of Calgary women’s hockey team tried to get back on track against the fifth-ranked University of British Columbia Thunderbirds on Nov. 7. Despite dictating the play for most of the game, the Dinos were unable to complete the comeback, losing 4–3 at Father David Bauer Arena.

Meeting for the second time this season, there was no shortage of bad blood between these two teams. The Dinos lost the first competition against the Thunderbirds in their season opener. To make matters worse, it was UBC who handed the Dinos a loss in the semi-finals last year.

The first period was a battle between the goaltenders, with UBC’s Sam Langford outplaying the Dinos’ Hayley Dowling.

The Thunderbirds took the first penalty of the match, but Langford flashed the leather on several occasions, shutting down the Dinos’ powerplay. The two teams traded penalties throughout the rest of the first period. The Dinos led 9–3 in shots with the game scoreless at the first buzzer.

The Dinos began the second period on the penalty kill. Dowling made big saves throughout. She came into Friday’s game with a 1.59 goals against average and a 0.941 save percentage, good enough for fourth in the league.

The Thunderbirds took three consecutive penalties in the second, giving the Dinos a 4-on-3 and a 5-on-3 advantage, though nothing came of these opportunities.

A penalty against the Dinos led to the first goal of the game, scored by Thunderbirds Katie Zinn. Skating into the slot onto her forehand, she made no mistake with her wrist shot.

The Dinos responded minutes later when defender Megan Grenon punched in a loose puck, which tied the game up at 1–1.

The Thunderbirds wasted no time regaining the lead.

Nikola Brown-John received a nifty pass through the crease and stormed in to whip a shot past the Dinos’ netminder.

The second period ended 3–1, with UBC’s three goals coming on just seven shots, forcing Calgary to change their goaltender for the third period.

The Dinos charged out of the gates in the third period with a quick goal from Iya Gavrilova — the league’s leading scorer — who split two UBC defenders and slapped home a rocket from the left hash mark. The Thunderbirds, unwilling to back down, capitalized on an opportunity in front of the net and put one past relief goaltender Carissa Fischer.

Down but not out, the Dinos caught an unlikely goal on a short-handed breakaway late in the third. Fifth-year forward Erika Mitschke squeezed the puck by Langford, bringing the difference down to one goal. With their goalie pulled and the extra attacker on the ice, the Dinos couldn’t solidify a position of attack, and the Thunderbirds held on to win.

The Dinos struggled with their special teams all night, going scoreless on six powerplay opportunities.

“Going on from tonight, we need to score on the power play,” said Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette. “Tonight we went 0-for-6. If we want to win, we’re going to need to at least get a few from there.”

Goyette wasn’t shy in pointing out which players were at fault on the night.

“We outshot and out-battled them tonight. At the end of the day, when you’re only allowing eleven shots on net and they’re scoring four goals, some people in that room have to step up,” Goyette said. “We have to make sure that our goalies show up.”

With this loss, the Dinos fall to 4–2–3 on the season. They’ll hope to end their current losing streak on Friday, Nov. 14, when they take on the Manitoba Bisons at Father David Bauer Arena at 7 p.m.

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