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Golden Bears oust Dinos for the third consecutive time in west finals

By Sonny Sachdeva, March 12 2015 —

Game one

The Dinos men’s hockey team opened their Canada West finals series against the University of Alberta Golden Bears in front of 1,806 fans at Edmonton’s Clare Drake Arena on March 5.

After falling to the No. 1 ranked Golden Bears in the finals for the last two seasons, the Dinos saw game one of the series follow a similar pattern as U of A came out on top with a decisive 5–2 victory.

Offensive pressure proved to be the difference as the Golden Bears outshot the Dinos by a staggering 39–9.

U of A’s potent offence struck three minutes into the game as Golden Bears forward Joshua Derko capitalized on traffic in front of the Dinos’ net to wire in a quick shot.
Ten minutes later, a power-play goal from the Dinos evened things up at 1–1. Forward Elgin Pearce scored the goal for Calgary, stuffing a rebound past Golden Bears netminder Kurtis Mucha.

But less than a minute later, U of A regained the lead as forward Jamie Crooks tipped a puck by Dinos goaltender Kris Lazaruk.

Heading into the second period down 2–1, the Dinos looked to come out strong and keep the game close.

Unfortunately, it slipped further out of reach.

The Golden Bears team captain piled on two more goals in the second stanza. The first, a quick shot from Kruise Reddick, came 29 seconds into the period.

The second was the result of a power play awarded to U of A after Dinos defenceman Phil Tot was called for boarding. Golden Bears forward Brett Furgeson tallied the man-advantage goal for U of A, taking a pass from T.J. Foster — who led the Canada West regular season in scoring — to extend his team’s lead to 4–1.

Head coach Mark Howell elected to make a change in net to start the third period, switching out Lazaruk for Jacob DeSerres in an attempt to give his team a spark.
The change did little, however, as Crooks scored his second goal of the game, giving the Golden Bears a dominant 5–1 lead just six minutes into the final frame.

Calgary fought back with a shorthanded tally midway through the third period — courtesy of forward Brooks Myers — but the goal would not be enough to cue a late comeback.

Game two

Facing elimination at the hands of the University of Alberta Golden Bears for the third consecutive year, the Dinos men’s hockey team hoped to bounce back in their Canada West finals series with a win in game two.

Unfortunately, their redemption was not to be.

In front of 3,009 fans at Edmonton’s Clare Drake Arena, the Golden Bears outshot the Dinos 41–20 en route to a 2–1 victory.

Goaltender Jacob DeSerres got the call for the Dinos in game two, supplanting Kris Lazaruk, who started game one against U of A as well as all three games for the Dinos in the semi-final.

DeSerres put forth an excellent effort, allowing only two goals on 41 shots, but his solid play was not enough to earn Calgary a chance to play game three for the Canada West title.

The game was scoreless through the first two periods. Dinos forward Brooks Myers broke the deadlock at 8:34 of the third to give Calgary a 1–0 lead.

Five minutes later, the Golden Bears tied the game when team captain Kruise Reddick tipped a shot past DeSerres. The goal was Reddick’s second of the series.

Both teams battled down the stretch as the Dinos looked to force game three.

However, with two minutes left in the contest, U of A forward Stephane Legault broke in alone on DeSerres and beat him with a low shot to give the Golden Bears a 2–1 lead.

Unable to get one past Golden Bears netminder Luke Siemens in the final minutes, the Dinos saw the game end in U of A’s favour.

The win gives U of A their third consecutive Canada West finals victory over the Dinos.

Despite the loss, the Dinos still qualify for the University Cup — the Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s national championship tournament.

The Dinos enter the tournament as the sixth seed after their loss to U of A, who will enter as the No. 1 ranked seed.

Calgary will take on the University of Guelph Gryphons, who enter the tournament as the third seed after winning five-straight playoff games en route to the Ontario University Athletics division title.

The Dinos and Gryphons face off on March 12 at 10 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.

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