"We shit the bed."
So said an anonymous Dino hockey player last week in reference to the team's Jan. 11--12 series against the University of British Columbia; a series that saw them drop two games to one of the worst programs in the country. While purely metaphorical, the description of the hockeysaurs as nocturnally incontinent is one that seems even more appropriate following another smelly performance last weekend-a split with the lowly University of Manitoba Bisons.
"I'm not very happy about [the weekend]," grumbled comparatively erudite Head Coach Scott Atkinson. "It's a mystery to me. How did we show such a lack of intensity against Manitoba after a series like that [against UBC]?"
How, indeed? Rather than playing with a purpose, the Dinos were downright lazy on Friday night, mistaking the Bisons for a herd of lovable, docile herbivores. After coasting to a two-goal lead, the Dinos turned their backs on the deadly prairie ruminants, and allowed the Bisons back in the game. Calgary keeper Scott Rideout-left to fend for himself under stampeding hooves-surrendered two third-period goals, and the scrambling Dinos needed Colin Embley's empty-netter to fend off the surging, snorting herd. Lonnie Tetley, Ken McKay and Jason Boyd scored Calgary's other goals, but Manitoba held the edge in play and unloaded nearly 30 shots on Rideout in the second and third periods alone.
With their ill-gotten victory fresh in their minds, the Dinos stumbled out of the dressing room Saturday night with NyQuil-like sloth and even less preparedness. Just three minutes into the game, Manitoba went up one on a Jamie Brewster tip-in. By the end of the second, Calgary had allowed half-a-dozen breakaways and was lucky to be only down by two. The Bisons salted away the victory in the third and cruised to a 4--1 victory. If it wasn't for the stellar play of Rideout ("he played well," understated Atkinson) the score might have been a lot worse. Lonnie Tetley's lone goal, his second of the series, stands out as the sole bright spot of the game,
and perhaps of the entire weekend.
The split allowed the 15--2--3 University of Alberta Golden Bears to further their division lead on the 11--8--1 Dinos, and with the playoffs just around the corner, Atkinson… well, to put it lightly, he isn't pleased.
"At this point, we're not happy," he growled. "We were happy two weeks ago, [at 10--5--1] but you can't be happy when you lose three of your last four. I think we're serious contenders, but we have to get refocused. We've positioned ourselves well, but we're not doing nearly as well as we can do."
Indeed. Will the Dinos regain the form they showed in the Fall, when they terrorized Canada West with brutal Cretaceous efficiency? Or, will they continue their new style of rolling over and playing victim to the patsies of Canada West? Find out this weekend, when the Dinos travel to desolate, dreary Saskatchewan to play the 7--9--4 University of Regina Cougars.