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Courtesy Lexi Marie Wright

Dinos earn key win with Crowchild Classic looming

By Sonny Sachdeva, January 12, 2016 —

The Dinos men’s hockey team swept the University of Regina Cougars on Jan. 8–9 at Regina’s Co-operators Centre, extending their winning streak to three games as they approach their schedule’s toughest stretch.

The club got a remarkably balanced effort from their forward group, with goals from six different players in their initial 6–2 win, before getting goals from three separate scorers in their follow-up 3–1 win.

Forward Chris Collins led the way in the first contest, posting a game-leading four points. Collins opened the match with a goal just seven minutes in. He set up three more tallies over the next period and a half, burying the Cougars early as the Dinos raced out to a 4–0 lead.

Collins currently leads the Dinos in scoring with 20 points through the first 18 games of the season, which also positions him sixth in the Canada West scoring race.

Cain Franson and Kevin King piled on two more goals for the Dinos over the final half of the game, refusing to let the Cougars regain their footing.

Regina managed to get two shots past Dinos netminder Steven Stanford in the third period, but it wasn’t enough to stage a comeback.

Franson kicked off the second game of the back-to-back series with another goal, taking a pass from linemate Coda Gordon and wiring in a hard wrist shot eight minutes into the contest.

The Cougars opened the second period down 1–0, but came out strong in the middle frame, capitalizing on a powerplay opportunity to tie the score at 1–1.

However, Gordon recorded his second point of the night soon after, battling hard in front of the Cougars’ cage to tap in the Dinos’ second tally and regain the lead.

Dinos forward Elgin Pearce scored late in the third period to ice the game for U of C — the goal was Pearce’s seventh of the season, tying him with Collins for the team lead.

The Dinos have only two games remaining before they suit up against Mount Royal University at the Saddledome for the annual Crowchild Classic. The event drew a crowd of nearly 9,000 last year, as supporters of both teams packed the entire lower bowl of the Flames’ arena and filled part of the upper levels.

The Cougars got the best of that 2015 match-up, winning 2–0 via a shutout from Cougars netminder Cam Lanigan.

The Dinos have put together a lacklustre 7–8–3 record so far this season, including two losses to Mount Royal University in late November.

Meanwhile, the Cougars have won six of their last eight games, meaning they’ll pose a tough test for the U of C. However, victories in the Dinos’ next two games — both against the top-ranked University of Saskatchewan — could go a long way in building enough momentum to give them a shot.

The 2016 Crowchild Classic will take place at the Saddledome on Jan. 21. The Dinos women’s hockey team hit the ice at 5:00 p.m., and the men’s team follows with an 8:45 p.m. puck drop.

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