CALGARY- The University of Calgary Dinos will face the No. 3 University of Alberta Pandas this weekend, November 21-22 in a home-and-home series. Action will begin Friday evening at the Father David Bauer Arena; puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Calgary will travel north on Hwy. 2 to face the Pandas in Edmonton on Saturday.
The Dinos swept the University of Manitoba Bisons at home this past weekend (Nov. 14-15). Friday evening’s game was a close one with the Dinos edging the Bisons in a final 3-2 decision. The Dinos struggled in the second and third period losing some momentum before Iya Gavrilova got her second on the evening and the Dinos’ third of the night. The Bisons continued to press to tie the game and came within one goal mid-way through the third period.
Saturday’s game was much stronger for the Dinos. Controlling the majority of the game and holding the Bisons to only 13 shots, including only two allowed in the second period. The Dinos downed the Bisons 3-1 Saturday afternoon.
“Last weekend was a booster for us, getting those four points. The girls are having fun and smiling at the rink, losing can take its toll on you,” explained head coach Danielle Goyette. “We’re going to take that into this weekend.”
This weekend saw the return of Hayley Wickenheiser to the lineup who had an immediate impact on the team. Wickenheiser had three-assist and a goal this past weekend. The duo of Gavrilova and Wickenheiser has been highly effective for Calgary. Gavrilova still leads the conference with 20 points, four points coming from this past weekend (2 goals, 2 assists) and Wickenheiser is climbing the ladder, sitting 12th having only played seven games. If these two continue to play the way they currently have there’s no doubt that they will both lead the conference in offensive skill and points.
Alberta sits second in the conference with a record of 8-4-0 just behind the University of British Columbia who they faced on Nov. 14-15. The two teams split the weekend. Alberta lost the first game 3-1 before beating UBC the next day 4-2.
Alberta and Calgary have a long rivalry history. Both teams have endured much success and tribulations, making the rivalry only stronger. Calgary won their national title on Panda ice when they hosted in 2012, Alberta has been hungry for a national title ever since the last time they won it in 2010.
The Pandas have allowed the least amount of goals against in the conference (17) and Lindsey Post has five shutouts already this season. Third year Jessica Kampjes leads the Pandas with 16 points while rookie forward Hannah Olenyk is right behind her with 13.
The Dinos improved their record to 6-3-3 after beating the Bisons and will look to improve it once again against the Pandas. The Dinos are looking to take over second place in the conference.
“We need to put a lot of shots on the net. If you put one in early it’s hard to recover. We have to make sure the goalie doesn’t see the puck,” said Goyette. “We have to adjust and make sure we contain them on the power play as well.”
Calgary will be on the road again next weekend, Nov 28-29 as they face UBC before heading into Christmas break.