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The Dinos and Flames rookies showcased their skill in a faceoff last Friday.
Nam Vuong/the Gauntlet

The new Dinos

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The University of Calgary men's hockey team faced off against a talented group of Flames rookies who were trying to prove to the Flames brass that they deserve a spot in the organization for the upcoming season. The Flames rookies prevailed with a 4-0 victory over the Dinos.

Despite the loss, fourth-year Dinos forward Ryan Gillen thought the Dinos played well against the Flames rookies.

"As much as they are NHL prospects, we played with them all night and in junior we played with or against them on a nightly basis," he said. "We have a set team and they showcase their talent and skill to make a team."

The Dinos were short-benched for the game, with players out with injuries and at NHL draft camps. The Dinos head coach Mark Howell said exhaustion set in with the players as the game wore on. "It would've been nice to have those players back but we got tired a little bit and stopped skating which made for costly turnovers," said Howell.

The Flames and Dinos clashed heads early, both struggling to score in a tight first period. The Dinos's turnovers became costly as Sven Baertschi of the Flames put one past goaltender Dustin Butler early in the second. Soon after, the Flames were able to rack up goals against the fatigued Dinos.

Former Vernon Viper captain David Robinson has made a seamless transition from the British Columbia Hockey League to Canada Interuniversity Sport. "The BCHL is a good league and the CIS has bigger, stronger guys and I made the adjustment so far -- hopefully I can continue to do that," Robinson said.

After his BCHL career was over, Robinson considered all his options and going back to school and doing hockey was the best one. "I was leaning towards coming to school. I like what the U of C had to offer with lots of good coaches and maybe lead me to the pro level."

The overall make-up of this year's team is going to be younger with few veterans returning.

"All the first-year guys are filling the holes the graduating guys left and I'm impressed with the recruiting class who jumped into the lineup," said Gillen. "I feel we'll be in the top half. The University of Alberta is a good team but I feel we are right there with them."

Howell believes that his squad will have what it takes to make it back to the University Cup where they fell short with a one-goal loss to the University of Western Ontario Mustangs. "It was a great experience with the level of competition and professionalism and we were right there and our players want to go back."

"We know what we have with our captain Reid Jorgensen and with our defence healthy, we can compete with the rest of the Canada West," said Howell.

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