Lucky break

By Collin Gallant

Would you be sastified with three out of a possible four points?
What if they came in two close games with the worst team in the league?

That’s what the University of Calgary Dinosaurs men’s hockey team has been contemplating since their Jan. 15-16 series with the University of Regina Cougars, a 3-2 win Friday and a 5-5 tie Saturday.

"No guy on the team is happy with the weekend," summed up Dinos forward Gavin Hodgson, who scored a third period goal which turned out to be Friday’s winner. Hodgson believes that both games should have been a walkaway.

Assistant Coach Kevin Kobelka, who took a turn at the reins for the weekend games due to the one-game suspension of regular Head Coach Tim Bothwell, echoed Hodgson’s sentiment.

"We were there physically but not mentally," said Kobelka. "We out-chanced them but we had some breakdowns and made some mistakes. We made big mistakes and they were there [to capitalize]."

You almost knew on Saturday that it was going to be one of those games. Midway through the first period both Calgary defenders collided behind the net, sending the puck to an undefended Cougar in front. He took a second to realize what was happening before putting it behind Dinos’ goaltender Rideout to open the scoring.

"There was a lack of work ethic," said Hodgson. "At times we dominated. At other times there were lapses and Regina got flukey goals during those lapses."

The Dinos replied almost immediately when scoring sensation Eric Schneider completed a pretty passing play, breaking the line to blast a one-timer into the lower stickside corner of the Regina net.

Schneider continued his tear, adding another goal in the second period giving him 16 goals on the season. He sits on top of the goals race and third in points in the Canada West division.

In the second period, the Dinos took advantage of a two-man powerplay putting them 4-6 on the powerplay for the game.

Despite good puck control by the Dinos, the see-saw scoring continued until the dying minute. The Dinos had the puck in the offensive zone when it came back to the point for U of C defender Mike Laplante whose big shot ricocheted off the shin pad of a Regina forward and out, creating a partial breakaway for two Cougars. A resulting collision sent the puck into the net with only 17 seconds left, sending the game into overtime.

Despite good chances on both sides, the deadlock remained unbroken, leaving the Dinos with a 9-6-3 season record.

The U of C hopes to improve that record significantly in their next series, Jan. 22-23 against the University of Brandon Bobcats.

"It’s always tough to win there. It’s going to be a tough weekend," said Bothwell of the upcoming games in Brandon. The Bobcats are coming off two hard losses to the University of Alberta and should be hungry for a win.

"We can’t settle for anything less then four points out of Brandon," said Hodgson. "They’re a low-calibre team. We’re capable of beating them. I feel confident that we will totally dominate."

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