The University of Calgary Dinos men's hockey team is in a slump, winning only one of their last eight conference games. It didn't get any better over the weekend for the team, who continued their losing streak on home ice with a doubleheader against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The Dinos lost 1-2 on Friday and 2-3 on Saturday, setting the team back four points in their run for playoffs. Despite the struggles in both games, the players feel confident they will finish the season strong.
Forward Walker Wintoneak felt positive and recuperated after the Dinos played well in the SAIT Cup Challenge, beating SAIT and the University of Alberta on Jan. 2 and 3.
"I thought we did okay after Christmas and we were feeling good about ourselves, but things haven't gone our way," he said.
In Saturday's game against the Thunderbirds, the Dinos had a difficult time staying out of the penalty box and missed chances on the five-on-three and four-on-three power plays.
Wintoneak, a former Saskatoon Blade, admits that the games over the weekend were missed opportunities: "The weekend was tough and we worked really hard and just had a couple of unlucky bounces and missed chances."
Wintoneak said goals have been hard to come by and inconsistencies throughout games have cost the Dinos.
"We have to be better the full 60 minutes and need to get to those dirty areas and get those greasy goals," he said.
After two frustrating losses to UBC, fourth-year forward Brock Nixon knows it's going to be an uphill battle to gain home ice advantage in the playoffs after moving down to fifth place in the league.
"It definitely puts us behind the eight ball in terms of the standings. We shot ourselves in the foot this weekend and didn't push hard enough," said Nixon. "It was a combination of things that hurt us tonight and we took some costly penalties."
The Dinos are heading into the post-season and hope to have a strong finish.
"We want to do everything we can to play at home and focus on getting our game together before the playoffs start," said Nixon.