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Cougars overcome three-goal deficit to stun Dinos

By Stephane Arnault, February 5 2015 —

The Dinos (13–5–4) women’s hockey team suffered a devastating 6–5 overtime loss against the University of Regina Cougars (11–9–2) on Jan. 30 at Father David Bauer Arena.

Calgary was ahead 4–1 in the third period before Regina’s offence went on a scoring spree.

“When you lose like that, it hurts,” said Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette.

The Dinos looked slow out of the gate, registering only one shot in the first 14 minutes.

A late power play sparked their offence. At 14:23, Janelle Parent snapped a shot on goal and Jenna Smith tucked in the rebound to give the Dinos a 1–0 lead.

Halfway into the second period, Dinos forward Iya Gavrilova fired a beauty from the slot that went off the bar and in, making it 2–0 Calgary.

The Cougars answered a few minutes later on the power play when Nikki Matthers’ wrister from the blueline went through Hayley Dowlings’ five-hole.

The Dinos responded late in the second on another power play. Jayme Clark skated down the wing, fired a shot on goal and Smith buried the rebound — her second of the night — to make it 3–1.

The Dinos’ brilliance on the power play carried into the third, when Smith scored another goal to make it 4–1. Smith’s hat-trick was her fifth marker in her last three games.

“Personally, I’ve focused a lot on rebounds,” Smith said. “Just going the extra mile and it sure showed tonight.”

What happened next shocked everyone. The Cougars scored three unanswered goals in seven minutes to even the game 4–4.

Regina’s game-tying goal was a frustrating one. Dowling tripped a Dinos defender, then Cougars defender Carleen Meszaros slapped it from the half boards past a sprawling Dowling.

The Dinos regained some momentum late in the third period when Gavrilova toe dragged past a Regina defender and pulled the puck backhand-forehand, roofing it to make it 5–4 Dinos.
But the highlight-reel goal would not be the story of the night.

With 1:30 left in the third and Regina’s goalie pulled, Cougars forward Natasha Kostenko was left alone in front of the Dinos’ net. She beat Dowling’s five-hole to tie it up at 5–5 and send the game into overtime.

On a delayed penalty less than a minute into overtime, Cougars forward Kylie Gavelin beat Dowling with a shot that trickled through her five-hole to complete the comeback.

Criticism comes easy to a team that gives up five goals in 15 minutes. Any community coach will tell you that you win as a team and you lose as a team. But this isn’t the minors, and Goyette put the blame on her netminder.

“I don’t think our team gave up,” Goyette said. “It’s that sometimes you need a save to keep the game going. At the end of the day, we can’t get five goals against us in the final period. When you score five goals, you should be able to win a game.”

Smith spoke about her team’s collapse.

“When we get up by a few goals we need to keep going and put the game away,” Smith said. “It’s always tough when you give up a game like that. I think everyone’s pretty upset. Hopefully we’ll get it together.”

Out of the 33 teams in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, Calgary’s goalies have combined for a .906 save percentage, which is 23rd in the league.

“We need better goaltending,” Goyette said. “Our goalies have to be the ones that are going to step up because we need them badly.”

Besides Smith’s hat-trick, the Dinos’ lone bright spot was their power play, which went four-for-five on the night.

With just four games remaining in the regular season, the Dinos have an eight-point cushion on the Saskatchewan Huskies for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Dinos have a home-and-home matchup against the No. 1 Alberta Pandas (17–6–1) on Feb. 6–7.

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