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Dinos women’s hockey team face uphill battle

By David Song, November 21 2018 —

Despite a dominant first period, the University of Calgary Dinos women’s hockey team fell to the University of Regina Cougars 2–1 on Nov. 17. With their comeback win, the Cougars improve to 9–7 on the year while the Dinos fall to 1–17.

“We’ve missed so many opportunities,” said head coach Danielle Goyette regarding the game and the Dinos season in general. “We’ve had a lot of scoring chances. At the end of the day, we need to be more opportunistic and put the puck in the net.”

The Dinos got off to a fast start, controlling the flow of play and outshooting the Cougars 10–4 in the first period. Rookie forward Brooke Dennett missed the net on a backhand in the opening three minutes and veteran defender Kira Makuk made a key shot block roughly six minutes later to deny the Cougars a scoring chance.

With momentum on their side, the Dinos eventually drew consecutive penalties from Kaitlyn Crowe and Sidney Shyiak to earn a 5-on-3 power play. Third-year forward Rachel Paul took full advantage, banging in a rebound off a Dana Wood point shot to open the scoring.

“Our defence did a good job playing with [the puck] at the top,” Paul commented regarding her goal. “Dana had a great shot from the point, put it right where it needed to be and I was there for the rebound.”

The Cougars responded early in the second period as defender Nikki Watters-Matthes buried a high shot off a 2-on-1 pass from forward Jenna Merk. Despite a few good chances, the Dinos could not capitalize on the five-minute power play and the Cougars gathered back the momentum. Dinos goaltender Kelsey Roberts stood tall throughout the period, making several big saves to keep the score 1–1. By the end of the second stanza, the Dinos’ advantage in shots on net had dwindled to 15–14.

Both Roberts and Cougars goalie Jane Kish continued to make key saves in the third period, but the visitors would ultimately take the lead at 14:10. Forward Chelsea Hallson threw the puck at the net, where it deflected off a Dino and across the goal line to give Regina a 2–1 lead.

The Cougars’ defence shut the door from there, as the Dinos could not tie the game despite pulling Roberts in their search for a late equalizer.

Goyette emphasized the need for improvement on special teams, with the Dinos power play finishing one for six on the night.

“We had a lot of opportunities [on the power play]. We capitalized on one, but we had more chances, and we need to be able to pay the price, go in front of the net and take more shots on net,” she said. “Sometimes, we try to be too fancy.”

Paul assessed the Dinos’ performance similarly.

“We have a problem with working too hard and not smart,” she said. “I think our team struggles with trying to make the big play, the big stretch pass or whatever, but we’ve just got to focus on doing the little things and the big things will come from that.”

“We have to take a deep breath [and] put this game behind us,” Makuk said, looking ahead. “We can play with any team in the league, and all the teams are pretty tight this year, so we just have to be willing to show up and keep going forward.”

The Dinos have a lot of work to do before their marquee rematch with the Cougars at the Crowchild Classic. The hockey event of the season takes place at the Saddledome on Jan. 29. Puck drops at 4 p.m. Plenty of Dinos home-ice action also takes place in December and January. For a full schedule, visit godinos.com.

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