This past Thursday and Friday, Father David Bauer Arena housed two of the largest drubbings in recent Dinos men's hockey memory. And while the results were quite similar, the way the games played out were starkly contrasting.
"I was ecstatic about our game Thursday," explained Dinos first-year Head Coach Scott Atkinson. "The guys did everything I asked them to do. We had a lot of energy and we were crisp."
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns was the first team to fall victim to the Dinos. The hometown troops fired on all cylinders from the moment the puck dropped. Led by seasoned veteran Ron Grimard and newcomer Phillipe Choiniere, both tallied a goal and two assists. The boys were in fine form and posted a 6-0 win.
"That was exactly what we are going to do to teams when they come to our rink this year," said Atkinson. "We've got a big ice surface and we're going to use it. We're going to skate you until you hurt. We're going to come after you."
Friday night, a brand new team showed up at FDB, but the result was the same. The crosstown Mount Royal College Cougars, fresh off a 6-0 loss to Lethbridge on Tuesday, were expected to be more than a little upset and looking to prove their worth. What they ended up proving is that they are vulnerable to taking a beating two games in a row.
"I was very disappointed in the game with Mount Royal," explained Atkinson, who left the Cougars for the Dinos over the summer. "I don't know what was wrong with them but they certainly didn't show their true potential."
The Dinos coasted to a lacklustre 10-0 win, but Atkinson was not overly enthused with his team's performance. The Dinos were good enough to dominate, but sloppy at times.
"It's tough to play well when you know the other team's not competing, and I know our guys could sense Mount Royal wasn't trying," said the coach. "With that said, we won. We won big. So the guys are looking at me like, what else do you want?"
What Atkinson wants is solid play on each and every shift because when the regular season rolls around, teams like the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan will exploit any degree of carelessness.
The team will get a taste of what the Golden Bears and the Huskies have in store for the rest of the Canada West Conference at this weekend's 19th annual Golden Bears-Brick Invitational Tournament in Edmonton. The Dinos will play three games in the six team tournament which includes, U of L, U of A, U of S, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and the University of British Columbia.
"I'm not sure what to expect from U of A or U of S other than they'll be good," admitted the bench boss. "But I'm not worried, if we play like we did Thursday we'll be fine."
In the Slot:
Dinos goaltender Scott Rideout was named Canada West Conference Player of the Week. He faced 24 shots over two games of shared duty with both Tyler Nilsson and Aaron Baker, turning away every
one of them. Rideout is touting a 0.66 goals-against average and a .976 save percentage through three preseason games, allowing only one goal on 42 shots.