The Dinos men's hockey team played two games against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns this weekend with surprisingly similar results. Both games were close ending with overtime wins for the Dinos.
The first game was played last Friday in Lethbridge was high scoring. The Dinos played a strong first period with forward Reid Jorgensen scoring the first goal of the game during a five on three power play two minutes in. Their second goal came three minutes later from forward Colton Grant off assists from forward Blake Clement and forward Teegan Moore.
"We executed on the power play, we drew some penalties and our guys capitalized on their power play opportunities," said Dinos men's hockey head coach Mark Howell.
In the second period the Dinos added to their lead in the 14th minute when defenseman Luke Egener scored with the help of a screen. The Pronghorns responded by scoring their first goal less than two minutes later. However, the Dinos regained their three goal lead on a power play goal by Jorgensen. The Dinos finished the second period with a 4-1 lead.
"Our intensity and our focus and following the game plan was very good," said Howell. "We executed systematically what we wanted to do and because of that we were able to dictate how the game was played."
The Dinos slept through the third period allowing three Pronghorn goals and were outshot 16-4. Lethbridge scored a late equalizer with less than a minute to go, dragging the game into overtime.
"I thought we played real well for two periods. We were up 4-1 and controlled the game for the most part and I thought guys followed the game plan and had good intensity," said Howell. "Unfortunately in the third period we didn't carry forward that intensity and got on our heels and watched Lethbridge come at us."
No goals were scored during overtime with both teams registering just two shots on goal, so the game went to a shootout. Dinos' forward Brock Nixon scored a decisive shootout goal that turned out to be the game winner. Dustin Butler managed to stop all three Lethbridge shooters giving the Dinos the win.
"Dustin Butler did a great job," said Howell. "You need your goaltender to be very good in shootouts and we scored on our first shoot and after that Dustin just closed the door."
The Dinos were two for four on the power play during the game with Lethbridge only scoring on one of nine power play opportunities.
The Dinos and the Pronghorns met again the next day in Calgary to play the second game of their weekend. The first period of the game was quiet with no goals scored. The teams played evenly, both managing eight shots on goal.
"I thought both goaltenders were very good. Their goaltender stopped 38 of 40 shots so he did a very good job and [Kris] Lazarak for us did a real good job," said Howell.
In the second period the Pronghorns got the edge on Calgary with Daniel Iwanski scoring their only goal of the game. Jorgensen scored for the Dinos during the third period off a setup from Colton Grant to even the game out 1-1. Like the previous game the Dinos and the Pronghorns found themselves tied at the end of regular time. Two minutes into overtime Dino Jerrid Sauer deflected a point shot from defense man Cory Pritz to score the game winning goal.
"We weren't real good for the first period and a half and didn't play with the intensity or purpose," said Howell. "Then in the third period we kind of got going better and started putting more pucks to the net and as a result we got a rebound goal."
The Dinos play their next pair of games against the UBC Thunderbirds on Oct. 22 and 23.