It appears as if the University of Calgary men's hockey team picked the perfect time to put their wheels back on the track. With only two games left in the regular season, the Dinos are now in a tie for second place and have a good opportunity to hold onto that spot for the remainder of the season.
"Everything seems to be coming together at the right time," remarked Head Coach Tim Bothwell. "We've got a combination of good goal-tending, solid defense and we are playing with more energy and intensity than ever before."
Prior to last weekend, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns retained sole possession of the coveted second-place spot in the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union West division standings with the Dinos trailing by only four points. Thus, both squads realized the importance of last weekend's home and home series, which began Friday evening at Father David Bauer Arena.
Veteran sniper Matt Holmes opened the scoring with a late first-period goal sending the Dinos into the dressing room with a 1-0 lead. Calgary's dominance persisted throughout the second period, when leading scorer Colin Embley received a perfect cross-ice feed in the Lethbridge zone and widened the margin to 2-0 with a powerplay goal.
In typical fashion, the U of C let the Pronghorns back in to the game during the third when Lethbridge scored just 24 seconds in, and put the tying goal behind starter Aaron Baker only five minutes later. Nonetheless, the Dinos were once again able to gain the lead with a nice passing play, which led to Matt Holmes' second marker of the evening and ultimately the game winner. Calgary clinched the two points with a 3-2 home win.
Unfortunately, the Dinos didn't come out of Friday's affair unscathed. Second-year forward Ron Grimmard broke his collarbone and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
"He's definitely a key part of this team," said Bothwell. "Obviously we would like things to stay the same but with Grimmer out things will have to change."
Despite the injury, the Dinos used their momentum to pick up the sweep the next night in Lethbridge. Goaltender Aaron Baker led the Dinos charge stopping 50 of 52 shots securing the 4-2 victory and Canada West Player of the Week honours.
Calgary now heads to Brandon for their final regular season matchup. Playoffs begin in two weeks.