For the University of Calgary Dinos women's hockey team winning is everything.
At least it has been this year as they have gone 12-2 and look to finish at the top of the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference league with eight games remaining.
Helping maintain the superior level of domination throughout the year is fourth-year netminder Katie Urness.
And dominant she is. Urness notched her fifth shutout of the season against the Mount Royal Cougars on Jan. 10. The shutout broke an ACAC record.
"I knew it was there, it just started to happen and I said, 'Oh that's kind of cool,'" said Urness of her awareness of the record. "It was something that was there and I wanted to get the shutout."
Admittedly Urness said she didn't have to work very hard to achieve her personal goal-- she had her team to back her.
What Urness modestly failed to mention was that she fended off eight third period shots, many of which came from two-on-one chances.
"I kept on looking at the clock, I knew it was possible to get it," she said. "I think we played strong enough that the end of the third was the most work I had to do in the game. When they only allow 14 or 15 shots a game they're making my job a lot easier."
Stating that the Mount Royal game was "the best the team has played" Urness and the Dinos will look to that night as a model for the remainder of the season and playoffs.
Their more recent efforts against the Red Deer College Queens were not as obvious as the 7-0 Mount Royal beating.
"I don't think it was one of our best games, but we always manage to pull off a win in the last couple seconds," said Urness referring to a goal scored with less than four seconds in regulation to beat the Queens 4-3 on Jan. 15 in Red Deer.
The Queens may prove to be a problem come playoff time, as the Dinos latest effort was a narrow 2-1 shootout victory.
"We have a good enough team that we always manage to pull it off, but we don't like to err on that side," said Urness of her teams ability to comeback.
With the NAIT Ooks, SAIT Trojans, Mount Royal Cougars and MacEwan College Griffins left to go, the Dinos hope to learn from their laxadaisical play against Red Deer and use that as motivation to give a more unifying effort.
"I think both games we had a decent start then tailed off, so we got to play a full game," said Urness.
The Griffins proved problematic last year as they beat the Dinos in four straight to take the ACAC Championship.
Urness said anything short of being on top is unacceptable.
"We want the championship. Especially how we ended last year, that's what we want to achieve."