Diggler gets it done

By Lawrence Bailey

Everyone remembers their first time. For some it’s a work of art. For others it results from prolonged and painstaking planning. And then there are those lucky few where it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Dinos midfielder Andrew Zakaluzny described his first ever goal in Canadian Interuniversity Sport action as "five per cent skill, 95 per cent luck."

Regardless of the skill required, the timely marker proved to be the winner in a huge 2-1 victory over provincial rival, conference leaders and previously undefeated University of Alberta Golden Bears. Zakaluzny–affectionately known as "Diggler" to teammates and fans alike–proved his offensive prowess was no fluke as he scored his second goal of the season in Sunday’s 2-1 triumph over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

"U of A has been winning all year, so three points off them is a steal," said Zakaluzny about the weekend’s importance. "The win against the Huskies is huge because we’re with them in the standings, so it’s a six-point game for us."

The weekend tilts were feisty affairs with a little more contact than many would expect from the world’s most popular sport. The victory over the Golden Bears cost our boys stalwart defender Colin Hill, who left the game with a level three concussion. There was no call on the play, drawing the ire of the Dinos bench. The chippiness and questionable officiating carried over to Sunday’s match with the Huskies. Shortly before halftime, Dinos forward Richard Ellis and Huskies sweeper Matthew Mitchell exchanged some none too kind words before Mitchell slapped Ellis in the face.

While Canada West regulations stipulate any player who even attempts to hit an opponent should receive a red card, the baffling decision on the field was to give each player a yellow card.

"Look at our discipline record, we’re number one in the Conference," said Dinos Head Coach Andy Gibbs. "When we tell our team not to throw a punch and the other team is throwing punches, it sends the wrong message when it isn’t dealt with."

Bad blood and blown calls aside, the bottom line is the Dinos came out of the weekend with six more points than they started with. The Dinos outclassed Alberta on Saturday and outlasted Saskatchewan on Sunday. Their ability to play the pretty game against more skillful teams and the grinding game against the worker bees of the conference bodes well for a Dinos playoff run.

G-G-G-Goal Notes:

When describing his game winner against the Huskies, Dinos midfielder Brian Newmarch was blunt: "It was trash, honestly."

As the final whistle blew in Sunday’s tilt, an eerie realization struck the Gauntlet contingent: "Réal" David Hernandez didn’t score–on a Sunday. Perhaps we’ve witnessed a torch passing from David to Diggler.

Final score for the weekend: Tigers-4, D.P.A.-0.

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