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Emilie Medland Marchen

Dinos hockey shut out by Montreal at CIS national championship

By Emilie Medland-Marchen, March 20 2016 —

The Dinos women’s hockey team faced off against the University of Montreal Carabins on March 18 at the Markin MacPhail Centre, kicking off the University of Calgary’s run at the 2016 CIS National Championship.

Although the Dinos were ranked seventh in the Canada West this year, their role as tournament host earned them the chance to upset the Carabins, who ranked second in the CIS. But Montreal’s offensive strength shone as the top-ranked club downed the U of C by a score of 4–0.

It was an aggressive game, highlighted by strong play from Dinos forwards Delaney Frey and Iya Gavrilova. Because of the game’s distant location from the university, the crowd was relatively empty but the women’s team still played with the same spirit they’ve shown all season.

Montreal’s possession game put pressure on the Dinos throughout the first period. A goal from Carabins forward Ariane Barker with seven minutes left in the first left the Dinos scrambling to catch up to the speed and aggression of their opponents.

Montreal followed up with another goal soon after, keeping the Dinos on their heels.

The Dinos fought back in the second period with dangerous chances from leading duo Iya Gavrilova and Alexandra Vafina — who finished first and second in scoring in the CIS this season. The pair took control and earned a quality chance with 10 minutes left in the second period, but couldn’t manage to follow through with a goal.

Montreal rushed the Dinos again at the end of the second and managed to knock the puck off of goalie Hayley Dowling and into the cage, securing a 3–0 lead.

The Dinos struggled to control the puck in the third period, leading to more strong chances from Montreal. Although the teams had similar shots totals, the Dinos couldn’t keep up with Montreal’s speed. In a last ditch effort to spark her club, Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette called a timeout with three minutes left in the period, before pulling the Dinos’ goalie to get an extra skater on the ice.

But the U of C still couldn’t secure a goal, and Montreal ended the game 4–0 after scoring on the empty net.

It was a struggle for the Dinos defense all night long, but Goyette still felt like her team put up a good fight.

“We played a game we wanted to play tonight,” Goyette said. “If we changed two or three bounces tonight, it’s a different game. I feel like coming here and not being in the top 10, when you look at all the teams, I think we proved that we can play the game.”

Despite the upset, Goyette is still looking ahead to the Dinos’ consolation game on March 19.

“Tomorrow there’s no excuse,” Goyette said. “Tonight, I’m going to give it to Montreal for pulling ahead, but we have to look at right now, and playing tomorrow at 10 o’clock. We can’t look in the past, we can’t change anything. We just have to look at tomorrow and prove to ourselves that we need to keep working hard, that we can play better.”

The Dinos went on to defeat the Western University Mustangs by a score of 3–1 and the St. Thomas University Tommies by a score of 4–0 in their consolation matches on March 19–20.

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