By Crystal Wong
The Dinos men’s hockey team hasn’t won a pair of weekend games since their opening series at the beginning of October.
The Dinos travelled to the University of British Columbia to face the Thunderbirds Dec. 2-3. After barely sneaking a 5-4 victory on Friday, the Dinos once again failed to make it two wins in a row on Saturday.
Friday night, the Dinos jumped to an early two-goal lead with goals from Jarret Lukin and Wesley Reid. Although both teams got into penalty trouble early on, only one powerplay goal was scored in the first.
Shortly after Dinos goaltender Scott Talbot let in two goals on just four shots to begin the second period, the Dinos had a two-man advantage. However, they ended up giving the T-Birds a penalty shot, which Kyle Bruce capitalized on to give UBC the lead.
At the other end, former Red Deer Rebels goaltender and Calgary native Gerry Festa wasn’t having much better luck. Towards the end of the middle frame, Colin McRae scored with a wrist shot to tie the game and, with traffic in front of the net, Travis Friedley gave the Dinos their second lead with a one-timer.
The Dinos got into penalty trouble again in the third. They took four penalties, including two that translated into 40 seconds of five-on-three play for the T-Birds. Although the Dinos killed the two-man advantage, they let in a powerplay goal to tie the game at four as the second penalty was about to expire.
Finally, the Dinos took the lead for good at 17:50 with a goal from Ryan Annesley. Shots on goal were 34-24 for UBC, who failed to score on three two-man advantages given to them by the Dinos.
However, going back and forth is the story of the season for the Dinos. The team plays well one day, and leaves you wondering why they are skating the next.
Following Friday’s game, UBC coach Milan Dragicevic praised the Dinos’ skilled forwards for scoring when it mattered. The same cannot be said about Saturday.
The Dinos dug themselves a hole by allowing three goals–one on the powerplay, an even-strength goal, and another while short-handed–in the first period. The lone goal in the second went to the Dinos when McRae was assisted with a powerplay goal by Annesley and Wade Davis.
The Dinos seemed to have gained momentum going into the third. Annesley scored a short-handed goal to cut the lead down to one. Although the Dinos were so close to coming out of their hole, they never did. Bruce put the game away at 13:57, making the final score 4-2 for UBC.
Only one even-strength goal was scored in the second game, mostly because the teams combined for 88 penalty minutes. Talbot’s GAA dropped to 3.20 for the season, with a 0.910 save percentage and a record of 6-3-4.
The Dinos rest until Jan. 6-7, when they play against the University of Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton.
In the net:
Despite the team’s inconsistent efforts throughout the season, a player who has certainly been consistent for the team is Annesley. He was named Canada West Male Athlete of the Week for his efforts against the T-Birds.
The former Calgary Hitmen forward climbed to 13th in points among Canadian Interuniversity Sport players–good for third in Canada West. He had a five-point weekend with two goals, including the game winner that secured the team’s seventh win of the season on Friday, and three assists.