A nonexistent power-play suddenly roared to life this past weekend, giving the Dinos consecutive victories in their home-and-home series against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. The special teams played a huge role for the Dinos, as a grand total of 43 penalties were dished out during the two games.
In their season openers against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, the Dinos could not produce a power-play goal in 12 opportunities. However, nine of their 12 goals this past weekend were scored with the man advantage.
"During practice we focused on capitalizing on opportunities," said Drew Campbell, a second year defenseman. "To be a really good team you need at least one power play goal per game."
Well the Dinos certainly made the most of their chances against the Pronghorns.
The number of penalties is a clear indication of the physicality of the games. The teams received a total of 16 roughing infractions, including game misconducts to Blake Ward of the Pronghorns and Calgary's Brett Thurston.
"Lethbridge is a pretty chippy team, they like the rough and tough stuff," Campbell said. Calgary was more than up for the challenge, however, and proved it where it counts the most--the scoreboard.
Friday night, Lethbridge got on the board first with a power-play goal from Dallas Jackson. But the Dinos responded nearly ten minutes later, with Trevor Galan opening the floodgates for the Dinos offense. In the final two frames they went on a scoring rampage, tallying five unanswered goals--all on the power-play--and walking away with a 6-1 victory and more than a few bruises.
The second game was less rough, but again the Dinos' special teams stole the show. With only five opportunities on the man advantage, they capitalized on four of them, including two late third period goals by Alex Lalonde.
Penalty-killing played an equally important role, particularly Saturday evening when the Dinos took nine minor penalties. Excellent defensive play and superb goal-tending kept the Pronghorns from challenging the Dinos' lead. Scott Talbot recorded the shut-out, stopping all 22 shots directed his way.
Five Calgary players finished the evening with multi-point outings. Captain Bracken Kearns and right winger Alex Lalonde each netted two goals, Wesley Reid pitched in with three assists, Adam Loncan and Wade Davis collected two helpers apiece and Craig Strain had a goal and an assist.
The Dinos face a tough challenge Oct. 29-30 as they head out to face the undefeated University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
"We are going to have to be physical against the U of S because they have a big team," Campbell said. "We have to play our game, not theirs."
The Dinos will be training hard all week preparing to face the number three ranked Huskies. The Dinos have climbed to ninth in the national rankings after these two wins.