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Dinos clip Thunderbirds on controversial play

By Eric Licis, December 4 2014 —

The University of Calgary men’s hockey team clinched first place in the Canada West standings on Nov. 28, defeating the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 4–3 in overtime at Father David Bauer Arena.

The match started after a short delay, which saw the crowd cheer the tardy referees onto the ice, undoubtedly hindered by the blizzard on Friday night.

Despite the horrid conditions outside, the Dinos were anything but cold facing their western rivals.

Jumping off to a quick start, the Dinos forced the play into the Thunderbirds’ zone and took the lead within 30 seconds of the first period. The goal came on an unassuming point shot scored by Colton Grant, his first of the season.

Five penalties were called in the first period alone. The Thunderbirds took the first one 10 minutes into the game on a tripping call.

The Dinos made no mistakes on their first power play, using shots from the point. This resulted in a misplayed puck by Thunderbirds goaltender Matt Hewitt, which Dinos forward Spencer Edwards quickly tapped in.

Calgary soon found themselves in trouble, taking three consecutive penalties to finish off the first period.

Fortunately for the Dinos, their penalty kill was up to the task. The Thunderbirds registered a total of three shots on goal. Calgary’s defensive work provided limited access to the net, with Jacob DeSerres stopping what little got through.

“We were really happy with how the first period went,” said Dinos head coach Mark Howell. Despite a stellar first period, DeSerres was beat by the first shot of the second period. Thunderbirds forward Cole Wilson cut the lead in half after a cross-crease feed by a streaking winger Anthony Bardaro.

“We started turning over pucks, got a little lazy and stopped skating and it cost us,” Howell said.

The remainder of the second period was a tight checking affair. Calgary had most of the opportunities, but they were unable to find success against Hewitt.

However, with four minutes left, Calgary’s defence didn’t find the same result. Following a broken play in their own zone, UBC foward Manraj Hayer to chip the puck over DeSerres, leveling the game at 2–2.

Dinos forward Ryan Harrison helped break the tie with five minutes left in the third. Harrison intercepted a pass at half, split the defence and dropped the puck to a wide open Christopher Collins, who slapped it into the net.

Not to be outdone, the Thunderbirds quickly tied it up with a wristshot from Nate Fleming along the boards, which sneaked through DeSerres’ five-hole. The goal forced the game into overtime.

There was a high-paced back and forth between the two teams in overtime. A bad pass by Calgary in the Thunderbirds’ zone led to a two on nothing chance for UBC. DeSerres, however, decided to take matters into his own hands, knocking his own net off its moorings before a shot could be taken.

DeSerres’s action forced a penalty shot after a lot of deliberation and some protests from an upset UBC bench. The Dinos netminder came up huge, making a confident glove save on UBC’s potentially game-winning opportunity.

“It just happened so quick,” said DeSerres on the choice to move his net. “I had to make a decision, so I made one.”

It was a game winning decision, as Calgary’s Collins scored his second goal of the night on the next play to win the game.

The Dinos have a break until Jan. 3 when they will face off against the University of Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton.

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