The men's hockey team has a week to regroup, after losing back-to-back games against the University of Regina Cougars last weekend. The two losses in Regina drop the Dinos into fourth place in the Canada West conference, two points back from the third place University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
The Dinos dropped their first decision Friday night in heart-breaking fashion as Cougar forward Dillon Johnstone scored on the powerplay with less than a minute left to tie the game 3-3. The game went on to a shootout where the Cougars were perfect, scoring on all four attempts to win.
In the second meeting between these two teams Saturday, Regina got off to a three-goal lead after two periods. The Dinos responded in the third period with a pair of goals; however, they fell short, losing by a score of 4-2.
Dinos head coach Mark Howell is looking for his team to improve after a disappointing weekend.
"We need to understand that with the proper intensity and game plan we will be successful," he says. Howell is pleased with the team's powerplay, as the Dinos scored all three of their goals with Regina players in the box Friday and netted one more Saturday night.
"The powerplay in the past three to four weeks has been good," he says. "There is an expectation that when we go on the powerplay, we will score."
The Dinos will get a week off before meeting the Huskies in Saskatchewan on February 12 and 13. Howell says that time will tell if a week break will be detrimental or beneficial to his team. Nevertheless, Howell knows that this extra time could be a great opportunity.
"It will be a good thing for some of our guys to rest up, as we have five to six guys out of our line-up."
The message from Howell is simple.
"This team needs to be determined and focused to be a playoff team," he says. "We need to push hard here to be an improved team. [The break] will give us time as coaches for one-on-one meetings with our players."
The Dinos also have the potential to move back up into third place if they can win their two game series against the Huskies.
"The next two games give us an opportunity to show what we are made of," says Howell. "We need to win."