Andrew Brennan/the Gauntlet

Hockeysaurs offence takes charge

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The Dinos women's hockey team went out with all their guns a'blazing this weekend. No offence signs or cheers from the crowd were needed to spur the team to two dominant victories over the Regina Cougars.

The first game on Nov. 26 saw forward Jenna Smith give the Dinos an early lead with a four-on-four goal four minutes into the first period off a setup from forward Elana Lovell and captain Cait O'Hara. Forward Hailey Wickenheiser scored unassisted two minutes later to give the Dinos a 2-0 lead. The Cougars found themselves in penalty trouble for the rest of the period taking five penalties. O'Hara netted a point shot on the power play with assists from forward Calaine Inglis and Lovell. Forward Erika Mitschke added another goal to the Dinos lead before the end of the period to give the Dinos a 4-0 lead.

"I feel pretty good because we knew it was our last two games before Christmas and we had to finish on a good note with the long break here," said head coach Danielle Goyette. "Usually as a team we have problems starting in the first period. To have a good first period this weekend, I'm really pleased with the way we started the game. We started strong."

The Dinos took a string of three penalties in the second period but the Cougars were unable to capitalize on their chances.

Lovell increased the Dinos lead with a breakaway goal. The Dinos would seize their only power play of the second period when Mitschke redirected a shot by forward Shannon Davidson with an assist from Wickenheiser.

"I think it was the puck movement and our speed," said Goyette. "We used the speed pretty well this weekend and we shared the puck as a team and that's why we were able to create some good chances to score goals."

Defender Melissa Zubick scored the last goal of the game with assists from Smith and Wickenheiser, who had three assists that night, to give the Dinos a 7-0 victory.

Dinos goalie Amanda Tapp stopped all 20 of the shots she faced to record her fourth shutout of the season. Tapp leads the Canada West in shutouts.

The second game between the Dinos and Cougars on Nov. 27 was just as high scoring. The Dinos took a roughing penalty four minutes into the first period and Cougar Paige Wheeler capitalized on the man advantage to score the first goal of the game. The Dinos responded with a power play goal of their own from Inglis off a setup from Zubick. The pair would combine again to give Inglis her second goal of the game on a powerplay early in the third.

"Sometimes we try to do everything by ourselves as players and it's easy to defend against that but when we share the puck, on the big ice especially, it's pretty hard to defend," said Goyette.

Smith scored the second Dinos goal after Shannon Davidson found her in the corner and Smith drove hard to the net giving the Dinos a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.

"We want to score more goals but at the same time we have to be aware of the defensive side of the game," said Goyette. "We knew that it's something where you can score a lot of goals, but if we allowed a lot we won't be successful in the long term."

In the second period the Dinos built their lead with goals by Casey Irving and Wickenheiser. Smith and Wickenheiser added two more goals bringing the Dinos goal total to seven.

The Cougars offence came out strong in the third period netting two goals of their own but a comeback was out of reach and the Dinos 7-3 lead proved to be insurmountable.

The Dinos women's hockey team play their next home game on Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. against Lethbridge at the Olympic Oval.