No matter how a game is played by both teams, a win is still a win when it's all said and done.
While it was far from their best-played game of the season, the University of Calgary Dinos women's hockey team still skated away from their Fri., Nov. 17 match versus the NAIT Ooks with a narrow 2-1 win, their second of the season.
Both teams played below their regular skill levels all game long. Plentiful scoring chances and beautiful saves from both sides were overshadowed by sloppy passes, needless penalties and an inability to convert offensively.
"We didn't quite live up to our potential but we gave 100 per cent the entire game," said defender Ali Webb, who was given Dinos player of the game honours. "We just got more bounces and that gave us the win."
"It was inconsistent," added forward and first-year communications student Bret Seaton, who had an assist. "We played down to their level but stepped it up when needed."
The game started off on the right foot for the Dinos. They came crashing out of the gate like velociraptors, jumping on their opponents quickly with a vicious forecheck.
The Dinos' hard work was rewarded with a little luck less than two minutes into play, when captain Beth Nerland threw the puck out from behind the net, banked it off a player in front and past the oblivious Ooks goaltender.
But for every lucky break, there was a setback. Not long after the opening goal the Ooks turned a seemingly harmless dump-in into a goal when the puck came straight back off the boards, hit goalie Katie Urness' skate, and slid into the net, tying the game at 1-1.
The Dinos prevented the Ooks from fully stealing their momentum as they regained the lead on a powerplay late in the first. The puck bounced as the Dinos banged away in front and eventually found the stick of forward Chelsey Morrill, who put it home. Though ugly like the first two, the goal held up as the game winner.
Both teams created chances throughout the last two periods, but the goalies stood their ground. Urness played with poise after her early folly, making several key saves, including a remarkable breakaway stop late in the first.
The Dinos penalty kill, which went a perfect eight-for-eight, helped special teams play a large role in the victory.
"Our special teams won the game for us," commented head coach Dean Holden. "We denied them goals and generated one for us."
Saturday, the Dinos traveled to Edmonton for the second game of the series, coming away with a 3-1 victory.
The back-to-back wins make three on the season for the Dinos.