The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns froze in the frigid Calgary temperatures, as the University of Calgary men's hockeysaurs ice-picked them apart in their home-and-home series finale.
After suffering a tough 4-3 shootout loss in Lethbridge Friday night, the Dinos skated all over the lambs in a dominant 6-2 Saturday night victory to wrap up the series with strong special teams, sharp-shooting offence and seemingly effortless goaltending.
The Dinos jumped out to an early lead Friday night, with Trevor Galan's goal off of Barry Horman's pass. But four quick penalties turned the Dinos' lead into a one-goal deficit heading into the second period. The hockeysaurs were not deterred, and put on an offensive barrage of shots, outshooting the Pronghorns 12-4. Alas, none of these shots managed to slip past Pronghorns netminder John Haggis, who turned away 26 shots on the night.
The Pronghorns extended their lead to two goals in the second period, but it was not enough to hold off the charging Dinos. The hockeysaurs netted two goals in the final frame, including a Luke Hunter rocket in the last minute of the game to send the contest to extra time.
Overtime settled nothing, and the Dinos headed into the shootout having won half of their two shootouts on the season. The Dinos missed all three of their shots, and it was Pronghorn Logan Lavorato who was the hero for the home team. The hockeysaurs knew they had to step up their game if they wanted to salvage a series split.
"We're learning a lesson," commented Dinos head coach Scott Atkinson. "Teams are up to play us, and we need to match their intensity and enthusiasm. The problem is that when we take the lead, we tend to get too confident."
Saturday the Pronghorns quickly dug the Dinos a two-goal hole, but Dino Colin McRae trimmed the deficit to one heading to the dressing room.
After the first intermission the Dinos dominated the 'Horns on both the offensive and defensive ends. Dino Jarret Lukin proved again to be crucial to his team's success, netting the winning goal late in the second period.
The Dinos also managed to keep their penalty count down, tallying only six penalties over the course of the game. The Pronghorns skated off the ice with an embarrassing loss, and Dino netminder Scott Talbot notched his fifth win of the season. But the Dinos weren't satisfied with the series split.
"We keep letting teams hang around, and we gotta put them away," explained Atkinson. "We need the killer instinct."
Saturday's win was especially memorable for sophomore Dino Barry Horman who scored his first career goal in the dying seconds of the game. Horman, who played his first series since undergoing shoulder surgery at the beginning of the season, played a pivotal role in the series with two points.
"It feels really great to get the monkey off my back," laughed Horman. "More importantly, it feels good to get the win and get back on track."
With the win, the Dinos improve to 9-4-2 and head into their Dec.1-2 home-and-home series with their archnemesis the University of Alberta Golden Bears. The other Battle of Alberta will determine who will be in first place in the division after the weekend.