By Еvan Osentоn
Last Friday night, while most University of Calgary students were somewhere on 1st Street, boozily thrusting and contorting their bodies in failed attempts to procreate, the Dinos men’s hockey team were busy scoring at will on the University of British Columbia Thunder-birds.
The Dinos’ home opener weekend saw them host the ‘Birds, a hapless program the U of C has cruelly dominated for the past couple of seasons. The two-game series at Father David Bauer Arena confirmed this year will be no different. The Dinos scored 12 goals and took three of four possible points from the ‘Birds, sending the boys in blue and canary yellow back to the coast, their cheeks streaked with tears and their eyes hot with humiliation.
Friday’s home opener saw the Dinos dominate their way to a 9-2 victory. Ronnie Grimard picked up where he left off last season, scoring his first goal of the year mid-way through the first period. He then assisted on a Trevor Murray goal just under six minutes later.
On Saturday, Dinos’ starting ‘tender Scott Rideout allowed a couple of UBC markers and by the mid-point of the second period, the game was tied at two. Ken McKay’s first of a pair at 11:32 started a deluge of Dino scoring. First-year Dino Patrick "Juggernaut" Tetley’s first, Grimard’s second, and Colin Embley’s third goal pushed the lead to five before McKay’s hat-trick marker and Murray’s first of the year pumped the score to a beefy 9-2.
The veteran Rideout held the fort the rest of the way.
Saturday’s match began lethargically given the previous night’s activity. UBC appeared to be in no hurry to avenge the previous evening’s seven-goal pantsing and Calgary looked content to sit on their heels. The teams traded goals early in the second, with the Dinos’ Josh Woitas potting the first of his Canadian Interuniversity Sport career. UBC kept it close most of the way, but Trevor Segstro and Grimard eventually connected to put the Dinos up by one mid-way through the third. Victory–albeit, an ugly victory–appeared imminent.
However, Calgary couldn’t hold off a determined Thunderbird comeback. Corey "The Milkman" LaFreniere scored to tie the game with six seconds left (to the disappointment of what actually was one of the smallest Saturday crowds in recent Dinos history).
Overtime proved about as exciting as decomposing fruit, and the teams settled for a draw.
Saturday’s game may have left Dinos fans frustrated, but the weekend’s overall performance has to be considered encouraging. Now at 1-2-1, the Dinos are among the highest scoring teams in the West with a wealth of talent in net and the rookies contributing early. In a few weeks, the Dinos will be so good it’s likely no one will even remember they dropped the first two games of the year. Not even people in Saskatoon.
Embley and Grimard are two-three in Canada West scoring leaders, behind some no-name from the University of Alberta.
McKay’s four goals have him tied for second overall in the league and on a goal-a-game pace. The Gauntlet expects McKay to continue at this pace throughout the season and will award him twenty-five pounds of grade-A Alberta pork if he does so.
The Dinos’ next series is against the University of Manitoba Bisons, fresh off a couple of whuppings courtesy of the surprising U of A Golden Bears. The games go Oct. 26 and 27 at the Winnipeg South-Side Fun-Plex.