Megan Schmidt (#9) blocks a screaming Queen. Biyahhh!
the Gauntlet

Women's hockey team loses winning ways

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Momentum is a hard thing to gain, but even harder to maintain. After dismantling the MacEwan College Griffins last weekend to start the season 2-0, the University Of Calgary Dinos women's hockey team was unable to continue its winning ways this past weekend versus the Red Deer College Queens. The Queens proved to be more than the lady hockeysaurs could handle, taking wins in both games of the weekend series.

Red Deer had no troubles claiming victory on home ice Thurs. night, blanking the Dinos 3-0, but met much more determined resistance when the home-home split headed back to Calgary. The Dinos showed a very determined effort on home ice at the Olympic Oval but fell short in the end, winding up on the wrong side of a close 2-1 decision.

"It was a disappointing weekend, especially Friday night," said forward Cat McMechan. "We outplayed them, but it all came down to one lucky shot that didn't go our way."

The one lucky shot that McMechan referred to was the game winner, scored by RDC forward Carrie Olsen late in the third frame. Both teams were tied and battled back and forth from the first with neither being able to capitalize on their scoring chances, until Olsen's slapper from the right wing trickled through rookie netminder Danielle Curry with only 3:54 left on the clock. The Dinos applied pressure in the dying minutes but couldn't find a tying goal, losing the game and dropping their current season record to an even 2-2.

The Dinos looked to be on the path to victory early on in the game, taking a 1-0 lead just over five minutes in. Defender Ali Webb, quarterbacking a U of C power play, took the puck from the defensive end and embarked on a great journey up the ice. No Queens penalty killer was able to touch her, as she skated right into the offensive zone and fired home a beautiful wrist shot, the only Dinos goal of the game.

"The middle of the ice opened up for me and I went with it," Webb said. "I saw an opening in the bottom corner of the net just put it away."

The Dinos didn't maintain their lead for very long, as RDC tied the game later on in the first period. First-year Queen Kristyn Bailer smoothly stickhandled her way through two Dinos and followed it up by beating Curry, initiating the start of the 1-1 stalemate that lasted until Olsen's game-winner in the third.

The game turned out to be a very defensive affair, as both teams refused to give any ground in their own end. Neither team had much luck countering their opposition's defensive systems, which was evident with the low 19-18 shot count just barely favouring the Dinos. The Dinos had trouble especially in front of the Queens net, as numerous potential scoring chance passes were lost in a sea of skates and sticks thanks to solid RDC player positioning.

Despite dropping both games to Red Deer, the Dinos are keeping their chin up. They're focusing on the positives from the weekend, and will be looking to build upon them next weekend against one of their biggest rivals, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Trojans, last season's Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference champions.

"We played well as a team this weekend, and we can't be too upset about that," said McMechan. "We know what to expect next weekend, and we will come back stronger."