The University of Alberta Golden Bears had one thing on their minds Jan. 27--redemption. After being swept by the University of Calgary hockeysaurs the previous weekend, the Bears looked to re-establish their dominance in the Battle of Alberta. After sweeping the University of Regina Cougars the previous two nights, the Golden Bears defeated the Dinos in a 5-3 thrashing in front of 415 fans at Clarke Drake Arena.
Heading into Sun. night's game, it seemed as though the Dinos were favoured to win the first of two games being made up from Nov. and Dec., when a mumps outbreak quarantined several players on the squad. Not only had the Dinos just swept the Golden Bears Jan. 18-19 with double 5-4 victories, but they were also more rested than the Golden Bears due to their sebbatical-causing illness. Though the Golden Bears also had momentum from their sweep of the Cougars, it remained to be seen if fatigue would be a factor.
Golden Bear Tyler Metcalfe wired one past Dino netminder Jeff Weber three minutes into the first period to open the scoring. Hockeysaur captain Ryan Annesley responded quickly with his own goal and both teams headed into the second period knotted at a goal apiece, with Calgary just edging Alberta 11-10 in shots.
The second period, on the other hand, was all Golden Bears. Three goals by Alberta blew the game wide open, with even-strength goals by Chad Klassen, Tim Krymusa and Dylan Stanley's powerplay goal. Not only were the Bears doing all the scoring, but they were also taking all the penalties. They were booked five times in the period, including a pair of 5-on-3s but the Dinos were not able to capitalize on the chances.
It was not until the third period, thanks to Jared Aulin, that the Dinos were once again able to find the back of the net. Halfway through the final frame, Dino Jevon Desautels made things interesting by scoring shorthanded with teammate Travis Friedley in the box for interference. Alberta was only up by one now, but Bear Ben Kilgour was able to tap the puck in for an even strength goal, restoring his team's two-goal lead and putting a lid on any Dino comeback.
The Dinos did outshoot the Bears 38-29 on the night, so it wasn't due to a lack of trying. Rather, the hockeysaurs just weren't able to capitalize on their man-advantages. Previously, Dinos head coach Scott Atkinson had emphasized the importance of not allowing as many powerplay opportunities for their opponents, but now converting on their own chances needs to be addressed.
With the loss, the Dinos drop from eighth to ninth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport standings, with a record of 10-7-0-4 and 24 total points. The Golden Bears are now in first place in the Canada West conference, a point up on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. The second half of the make-up series against the Bears will be Feb. 10 at Centennial Arena. The Dinos will host the University of Manitoba at home that weekend, while Alberta will have those two nights off. Next up for the Dinos is a homestand against the Cougs Feb. 1-2. Come cheer on your team as they try to start a new streak, but of the winning variety.