Head Coach Scott Atkinson wanted consistency from his Dinos men's hockey team. Despite some strong outings and individual efforts, the Dinos have not yet won three games in a row. They had a chance to achieve that goal with games against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Nov. 18-19.
"We have a good bunch of guys that really want to be successful," Atkinson said following their last victory Sat., Nov. 12. "But right now we're struggling for consistency."
And they would continue to struggle with consistency against the Huskies. Facing the top-ranked team, the Dinos failed to capitalize on many of their scoring chances and finished the week without any standings points.
On Friday night, 485 fans were in attendance to watch the match-up between the Dinos and Huskies. The enemy struck first in the first period with a shot by Matt Girling after Dino Alex Lalonde was penalized two minutes for high-sticking.
But the Dinos came back. Just 25 seconds into the second period, Colin McRae scored on a pass from Jarret Lukin. Less than a minute later, the Dinos appeared to have scored on Huskies goaltender Thomas Vicars, but it was ruled a no-goal by the referee. Despite the minor let-down, the Dinos kept the offense going and took the lead with a goal by Ryan Annesley.
Then the Huskies started their domination on even-strength situations. They scored three unanswered goals in the second period, including a goal created by a spectacular deke from Girling after the Dinos defense broke down.
The Huskies carried their momentum into the third and out-shot the Dinos 10-8. The Dinos never recovered from the two-goal deficit, and Saskatchewan added one more goal to make the final score 5-2.
The Dinos benched goaltender Scott Talbot in favour of Mike Lencucha in the second game, but matters only got worse. Much of the same went on in this game, except this time, the Dinos never gained the lead. Even though the Dinos doubled Saskatchewan's shots-on-goal in the first period, the Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
The score was 4-0 to start the third period. The Dinos fought back with two goals, but it was too little, too late. The score ended up being 5-2 once again and the Dinos dropped to 5-5-2 on the season. Lukin had another strong week as he assisted on three of the four goals scored by the Dinos.
"He is not just an offensive guy; he competes all over the ice," said Atkinson. "An extremely competitive guy, he has great skills and speed."
The Dinos dropped out of the top-10 rankings in Canadian Interuniversity Sport after being ranked ninth the previous week. They travel to the University of Lethbridge to take on the Pronghorns Fri., Nov. 25 and return home to host them the following day.