After making consistent strides of improvement over the course of the first half of their season, the University of Calgary Dinos women's hockey team were looking to enter the winter break on a positive note by royally usurping their opponents, the Red Deer College Queens, over a weekend split of games.
Unfortunately, things didn't go according to plan, as the Queens took both games by decisive margins. The Queens followed up their Thur., Nov. 31 5-2 win on home ice by scoring an equal number of goals Fri., Dec. 1 at the Olympic Oval, while still holding the Dinos off the scoreboard altogether, winning the game 5-0.
"RDC definitely showed up to play in the last two games," said Dinos head coach Dean Holden. "I think tonight's game was more about us making Red Deer look good and us beating ourselves. This wasn't a reflection of how far we've come in the first half. It was a very disappointing way to close out the final game of our regular season before Christmas."
The Dinos played strongly versus the Queens during the first half of Friday's game as both teams exchanged scoring chances, including a breakaway by Dinos forward Ali Webb that was stopped by the experienced Queens goaltender. However, the Queens managed the first goal of the game, winning a battle down low and getting the puck to an undefended forward out front.
The game's momentum turned entirely in favour of the Queens when, after having a penalty shot call get mysteriously switched over to a five-minute major, they scored a powerplay goal with only 5.7 seconds left in the second period, a dagger through the heart of the Dinos. The Queens would score another goal on the same powerplay, making it 3-0 and further taking the wind from the Dinos' sails. Despite a determined late push, the Queens scored two more, wrapping up the game with little fret.
"They came out really hard," said first-year Dinos defender Cait O'Hara. "We didn't play as a team, our hearts weren't in it."
"What we showed on the ice today was not our team," added first year business student Karli Wolodko. "We're way better than that."
Despite wrapping up the first half of their season with a losing record, at 4-8-1-1, the young Dinos team still remains optimistic towards the latter half of the season and the future.
"With a young team we need to remember to keep our emotional level on an even keel," commented Holden. "We'll regroup over December and come back more determined in January."