The University of Calgary men's hockey team went south of the border last weekend. It wasn't a pleasure cruise devoted to fun and games, it was serious hockey against three tough American teams. This was their last tune-up before the start of the 2000/2001 CIAU season, and the Dinos' last chance to play their rookies, work on team chemistry and prepare for the tough grind ahead.
Unfortunately, our neighbours were not as friendly as the Dinos hoped--the team came away with no wins against tough U.S. competition. The Colorado College Tigers had first crack at the Dinos and beat the visitors 2-1 in a close game that saw Calgary goalie Scott Rideout turn away 38 shots from the relentless Tigers. The next two games were not much better as the U of C lost 4-2 to the Air Force Academy and 5-3 to Denver.
Next up for the Dinos is a series against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. The defending notional champions will have last year's CIAU Player of the Year Russ Hewson back in the lineup after his tryout with the Minnesota Wild. The Dinos failed to beat the Bears in eight attempts last year and will have their work cut out trying to curb the powerful team from Edmonton. The Dinos have 15 returning players from last year's 19-9-3 team. Key returnees include Ron Grimard, who scored 10 goals and 22 assists last season, and Matt Holmes who scored 12 goals on his way to 34 points. Rideout and fellow goalie Tyler Nilsson are returning, and with Rideouts' impressive showing in Colorado the goaltender position looks solid.
Another exciting season of Dinos hockey is about to get underway. Calgary has a traditionally strong program and this year looks no different as expectations are high for another winning season for Coach Tim Bothwell's squad. Game time is Friday at 7 p.m. at the Father David Bauer Arena. Let's see how the Dinos do against some real competition from Alberta.