By Еvan Osentоn
After a surprising hiccup at the start of the year, the men’s hockey Dinos have recovered their composure and are now crushing their opposition with merciless, robot-like regularity.
The Dinos’ latest victims were the struggling University of Manitoba Bisons. Going into last weekend’s series, the Bisons were winless in three and had just come off a 9-0 blowout at the hands of the resurgent University of Alberta Golden Bears–this from a program many pundits had picked for first in the Great Plains division. The Bison’s death-march into obscurity continued following a 4-1 loss to Calgary on Fri., Oct. 26 and a 3-2 loss the following evening.
Friday night, the match was knotted at zero until Dino phenom Ken McKay scored from a strange angle 50 seconds into the second period. The Bisons tied it just under four minutes later, but Trevor Segstro’s third goal of the year at 7:59 again gave the Dinos the lead. McKay and Segstro both added another in the third period for good measure–McKay’s sixth and Segstro’s fourth, both powerplay markers–and the Dinos sauntered to a 4-1 win.
The Bisons gave the Dinos a better game on Saturday night. A physical first period ended in a scoreless tie. Colin Embley continued his torrid pace scoring his fourth of the year on the first shot of the second period. Manitoba’s Cameron Jones and Jamie "Beef Machine" Brewster both scored halfway through the second, giving the Bisons a short-lived lead. First-year Dino Phillipe Choiniere scored his first goal minutes later to tie the score at two.
Manitoba controlled much of the play in the third, but Ronnie Grimard got the only goal of the period. The Dinos weathered a flurry of Bison shots late in the game and held on for a 3-2 victory.
Extra praise must be heaped upon Dinos starting goaltender Scott Rideout, whose play over the weekend was nothing short of NHL-calibre. Over two games, Rideout stopped 70 shots and allowed only three goals, for a two-game save percentage of .957 and a minuscule goals against average of 1.50.
At 3-2-1, the Dinos are now second to the U of A in the Mountain division and ranked eighth overall in the nation. Next up, the Dinos take on the ninth-ranked University of Regina Rams. The games go Fri., Nov. 2 and Sat., Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at the often-duplicated, never-copied Father David Bauer arena.
Poolies take note–Ken McKay’s six goals in six games keeps him on pace for the 25 pounds of grade-A Alberta pork the Gauntlet will award any Dino player who scores at a goal-a-game pace over the entire season.