On the road again. Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway. We’re the best of friends. Insisting that the world keep turning our way.
-Willie Nelson, “On the road again”
It’s a weekend of road trips for the Dinos, as the Jack Simpson Gym, the Olympic Oval and the Father David Bauer arena go quiet.
So far it’s been a surprising season for the young Dino hoopsters, as they currently sit in a tie on top of the Prairie Division with a 5–1 record. The world kept turning their way this past weekend as they put up 115 points against the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack, only three shy of the team scoring record. Fourth-year Ashley Hill, one of the few senior players on the team, has been leading the way with 20.5 points per game, second in Canada West. Second-year Alex Cole has been putting up big numbers herself, dropping 14.7 points per game on opponents so far this season.
The Dinos came into the season with only two players with more than two years under their belt: Hill and third-year point guard Megan Lang.
Now they head east to take on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, who are ranked second in the nation and have allowed a scant 58 points per game while compiling a 2–2 record so far this season. The Huskies were most recently in B.C., dropping two close games to the always tough University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the University of Victoria Vikes. The Dinos finish this semester’s conference schedule with two more road games in B.C. on Nov. 27 and 28.
It’s been steady as she goes so far for the men’s side, as they’ve opened up with a 6–0 record while scorching opponents with an average margin of victory of 28 points per game. Two Dinos scorers have so far landed in the top 10 in Canada West scoring: Ross Bekkering and Robbie Sihota, with an average of 16.8 points and 16.3 points per game respectively. Bekkering has snagged 10.8 boards per game as well to lead the CW in that category.
They also travel east to take on the Huskies, who have so far compiled a similar record to their female counterparts this season. They, like the lady Huskies, also dropped both of their games to B.C. foes this past weekend, including a 82–54 blowout at the hands of the Vikes. Still, Husky Showron Glover leads all of Canada West with a 25.8 points per game average.
It’s two games in Edmonton for the men’s hockey team against a University of Alberta Golden Bears squad who blew them out 9–2 in their most recent match-up. That was their most lopsided decision of the season so far, as the Dinos have amassed a 6–2–2 record, good for third in the conference behind the Bears and the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Dinos success this year is largely on the back of second-year goaltender Dustin Butler, who has been between the pipes for all the Dinos wins and holds a 2.60 goals against average.
It’ll be a tough test for Butler and the Dinos defence, as seven of the top 10 scorers in Canada West are Golden Bears, with Chad Klassen leading the way with nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points, tops in the conference.
Reid Jorgensen is the top Dino scorer, sitting 16th in the conference with 10 points so far in 10 games. Any points jacked from the Bears in these match-ups will go a long way to putting the Dinos closer to a top-two position in the conference, as they only sit three points back of the Bisons with two games in hand.
No one said it was going to be easy for the women’s hockey team in their return to Canadian Interuniversity Sport this season, and so far it’s been an uphill climb. After winning the Alberta Collegiate Athletic Conference championship last year, the Dinos have only won one game so far in the CIS: their opening night match-up against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Since then it’s been seven straight losses during which they’ve only scored nine goals. The closest they’ve been to victory was a 3–2 setback at the Father David Bauer against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
They travel east to Regina to face the University of Regina Cougars, a team that has as many wins but has amassed a few close overtime losses in the process. The Cougars sit ahead of the Dinos for second-last in the conference despite scoring less goals. A couple wins may put the Dinos back in the race for the final playoff position, as they currently sit five back of the Thunderbirds for fourth place with two games in hand.