The weather may be getting colder, but the University of Calgary men's hockeysaurs just keep getting hotter. The Dinos extended their winning streak to five games, sweeping the fourth ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies in their Oct. 27-28 weekend series.
The Dinos finally realized that defence does have something to do with winning games, and prevented the dogs from gaining offensive momentum. Friday night's contest in Saskatoon was a flurry of first-period action, with the Dinos coming out on top 5-3. The Dinos put the Huskies away again Saturday, with a strong defensive effort and sharp-shooting offence in a 4-1 spanking.
Forward Aaron Richards continued to play a crucial role in the Dinos' success, scoring the game-winning goal in Friday's win during the second period off a pass from Kyle Annesley. The Dinos made things a little too close for comfort when they surrendered a powerplay goal to Husky Keegan McAvoy in the dying seconds of the game, making the score 5-3. But the Dinos' defence held strong and they skated off the ice with their fourth victory in a row, hungry for another dog-meat main course the following night.
Alongside the stellar team play, forward Jarret Lukin was phenomenal all weekend, with four goals and a total of five points. Lukin scored two crucial goals in the series, netting the game-clinching goal in the late second period of Friday's contest. Even more important was his game-winning and series-clinching shot that found the back of the net early in the third period Saturday. Lukin's play earned him the nod as Canada West player of the week for the week ending Oct. 29.
"[It feels] really good," commented Lukin, a second-year general studies major. "Our team is playing very well at the moment and has made some big accomplishments."
Lukin was quick to point out his team's success this weekend, as always, was not solely the result of a single player's superior play, but due to the improvements the Dinos have made in the crucial early weeks of the season.
"As a group our power play was great [this weekend]," said Lukin. "I had a couple short handed goals and the way the team has been playing has allowed for my success."
In comparison to last weekend's games, the Dinos' defence showed tremendous improvements, giving up less than half the total goals they allowed during the previous series against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. Head coach Scott Atkinson was proud of his team's improvement, as defence has been an area of needed improvement throughout the early stages of the regular season.
"We played a lot better, and the score reflects that," commented Atkinson. "Any time you go into [the Huskies'] rink and only give up four goals in a weekend is an accomplishment."
Atkinson was especially impressed with Lukin's play, but was sure to point out that it was nothing out of the ordinary.
"He's a quality player," said Atkinson. "He had a slow start and now he's really hitting his stride. He was the best player on both teams by far."
The Dinos look to barbeque some Cougar meat in front of fans at Father David Bauer Arena in their upcoming Nov. 3–4 weekend series. Get out of the cold and enjoy the carnage-it's free with student ID.