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Dinos blank University of Regina Cougars

By Stephane Arnault, October 23 2014 —

Not all hockey victories require a 60-minute effort. Case in point: the Dinos men’s team coasted to a 5–0 victory over the University of Regina Cougars on Oct. 17 at Father David Bauer Arena after scoring three goals in the first period.

“First period we were really good, probably our best period of the season,” said Dinos head coach Mark Howell.

Dinos forwards Max Ross and Elgin Pearce took advantage of an odd-man rush right out of the gate.

Ross took a beautiful pass from Pearce and fired home his first goal of the season.

The Cougars beat themselves up with penalties in the first period. Calgary’s power play clicked at the 13:30 mark when Kodie Curran snapped one past Regina back-up Mitch Kilgore. Kilgore came in to relieve starter Lucas Gore after he was injured in a collision.

Pearce banked home a rebound at the end of the first to make it 3–0 Dinos. The goal capped off an impressive opening stanza from the home squad.

However, the rest of the game was far from pretty for Calgary.

“After the first, I thought we were really slow, unfocused and, you know, just weren’t consistent,” Howell said. “We took some bad penalties. You can just tell we lost ourselves.”

After dominating the first period, the Dinos took their foot off the gas pedal.

“That’s been kind of our Achilles heel the past couple of games,” said Dinos net minder Kris Lazaruk. “We come out firing in the first period and then we kind of taper off at the start of the second.  We haven’t really played a complete 60 minutes.”

The window was open for Regina to score and catch some momentum, but they were blanked by Lazaruk. The Dinos’ goaltender was steady when called upon, posting a 22-save shutout performance.

“When [Lazaruk] was needed, he was exceptional and made some big saves,” Howell said. “He held his ground and did a really good job.”

Lazaruk spoke about the difficulties that goalies have when they don’t face many shots.

“Every goalie prefers to have a shot every couple of minutes, but at the same time, your team’s playing well so there are pros and cons to everything,” Lazaruk said. “You just have to be mentally prepared. I just go out and play the puck as much as I can to get a feel. I skate around and just follow the puck at the offensive zone to stay fresh.”

Lazaruks’ biggest save of the night came in the dying seconds of the middle frame, when Dylen McKinlay went flying in on a breakaway. Lazaruk kicked out his pad and shutdown the backhand opportunity.

Lazaruk leads the conference in goals against average with a 1.00.

“He’s been really good.  He looks steady, strong, quick and real composed,” Howell said.

The Dinos’ final two goals came off the sticks of Phil Tot and Brooks Myers.

Myers’ goal came in the second period as he drove hard to the net and banged in a rebound. Tot’s tally was a powerplay goal in the third period and was his fourth goal of the season.

“The one thing we’re focused on right now is consistency and being focused for 60 minutes,” Howell said. “We’re getting close, we’re just not quite there yet. But it’s October, so we can keep building as we move forward.”

The win put the Dinos’ record to 5–2–0 this season, while Regina is still without a victory at 0–7–0. Calgary dominated in the special teams department, going two for four on the power play. Regina went zero for seven.

“I thought our penalty kill was real good,” Howell said. “Laz made some great saves to preserve his shutout and the guys were blocking shots. You definitely don’t want to put yourself in that position by taking undisciplined penalties, which we did. But we got out of it.”

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