The University of Calgary Dinos women's hockey team received the best Christmas gift since Pogs, Trolls and Lego as they unwrapped a 2-0 win over the SAIT Trojans Saturday night. The victory over the Trojans places the Dinos atop the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference standings heading into the holidays. The Dinos controlled the play for the majority of the game, outshooting the Trojans 34-11.
"This was the first game where we played a consistent three periods," said forward Shannon Davidson. "Everyone played really well and we had a lot of chances."
SAIT created the early chances in the first period, but the Dinos weathered the storm as netminder Katie Urness remained solid. The Dinos did not allow SAIT to control the game for long and soon created a three-on-one break with forward Sinead Tracy scoring the opening goal of the contest. Forward Elana Lovell led the charge into the SAIT zone before dishing the puck to Tracy who plunked the puck past goalie Lindsay Coghlan.
The game got physical in the second period and SAIT sent a painful message to Urness. The Trojans were controlling play and after several minutes of pressure, Urness made a brilliant glove save, keeping the game at 1-0. SAIT forward Tonya Faasse repaid Urness' effort with a full speed body check into the net after the whistle, knocking the Dino to the ground. Faasse was issued a five minute penalty and a game misconduct. Urness required assistance from the trainers, but was able to play the rest of the game.
"We've had problems with Faasse before," said Davidson. "She's not the classiest player I've ever played against and we've come to expect things like that. It was dirty and not necessary, but our team did a really good job of not retaliating and not doing anything after that to get ourselves in trouble. We didn't let it pump them up either."
The Dinos came out flying on the ensuing power play and peppered Coghlan with numerous shots. After SAIT cleared the zone, Lovell and Tracy scooped up the puck and broke into the Trojan zone on a two-on-one. Tracy held the puck and at the last possible moment slid it past the SAIT defender to Lovell who blew it past Coghlan for the second goal of the game.
The game remained physical in the third period as both teams were knocking players to the ice. Despite being proficient at hitting, the Trojans looked uninspired and lethargic on offence and mustered only two shots on net.
With all the rough play, Calgary made sure that Urness was protected. Whenever Urness covered the puck her teammates formed a wall to prevent any more cheap hits. On one particular incident SAIT rushed the net to try to knock the puck loose and Lovell and company formed the wall. With a Trojan lying on the ground Lovell stood over her with a glare so hateful that it caused the people in the stands to shudder.
"I thought we played well for all three periods," said Tracy. "Everyone played really well. They had some cheap shots, but we did not retaliate. There is not much more to say."
The Dinos put together an impressive first half of the season as they earned a 9-2 record. The defensive corps has played extremely well and allowed a mere 14 goals in 11 games.
The rookies are playing well with the veterans and the team looks comfortable together on the ice. Rookies such as Tiara Schoenroth, Tracy and Lovell have contributed tremendously on offence and Nikki Love and Megan Frohaug have played well in goal and defence respectively.
"I think we're putting fear into a lot of teams and that is what we want," said Davidson. "Our ultimate goal is to win ACAC and this is just one step in that direction. Our coaches are really proud of us and we're all really proud of ourselves. I'm really excited for this team and feel we have a lot of talent."