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Dinos dominate Bisons in home opener

By Sonny Sachdeva, October 2 2014 —

The Dinos hockey team ran the University of Manitoba Bisons off a cliff with a 6–1 win for their first home game on Sept. 26.

The Dinos offensive wizardry was on full display as they posted six goals from six different scorers. Fresh off a stint at the Tampa Bay Lightning’s NHL rookie camp, defenceman Kodie Curran led the Dinos with a three-point performance — one goal and two assists — and five shots on net.

Playing his first game as team captain, Kevin King had a tremendous outing in his new role, finishing with three points and the game-winning goal.

With King’s usual linemate Walter Wintoneak out of the lineup, head coach Mark Howell had to improvise with a new combination of wingers, settling on Phil Tot and Dylan Walchuk. The experiment proved successful as the trio combined for seven points and an endless string of dazzling chances.

Forward Spencer Edwards kicked off the Dinos’ scoring parade seven minutes into the first period, connecting on the power play. The Bisons’ Chad Robinson answered back with a power-play goal two minutes later. But from then on, the game was all Calgary.

King scored the Dinos’ second goal near the end of the first period, pouncing on a rebound to tuck one past Manitoba goaltender Deven Dubyk.
Walchuk, who made national headlines last year for his inclusion in Team Canada’s Olympic preparations, was determined to use the Dinos’ first game to prove himself after he missed most of his first season because of academic and injury issues. He raced up ice in the second period after the opening faceoff and buried his first goal of the season, extending the Dinos’ lead to 3–1.

Calgary continued to frustrate the Manitoba defence as the game wore on, which led to some chippy penalties from the Bisons. Elgin Pearce capitalized on one of the Bisons’ penalties in the final minute of the second period, and the Dinos’ looked to have the game put away with 20 minutes remaining.

Cain Franson, who proved himself a solid contributor during the Dinos’ pre-season, came through with a goal and an assist in his first regular season game, both coming in the final period.

The tension mounted as the Bisons continued to funnel players into the penalty box.

The game’s first star, Curran, put this one further out of reach when he notched the Dinos’ third and final power-play goal of the game (and sixth goal in total) halfway through the third period.

The performance left little to be desired as the Dinos looked much quicker and more skilled from start to finish. Howell stressed that despite this excellent start, the Dinos have another level they can reach.

“One thing we talked about at the end of the game was making sure we’re more consistent with our effort,” Howell said. “We played how we wanted to play with lots of intensity and support off the puck, and we played real well. It just wasn’t consistent enough.”

Howell’s sentiments were echoed by Curran, who said that the team knows they must embrace this consistency to take the next step.

“Last year we got off to a real good start,” Curran said. “This year we’re just trying to stay consistent and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

The Dinos continue their season on Friday, Oct. 3 at the Flames Community Arenas where they will take on the Mount Royal Cougars as part of  the Crowchild Classic.

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