CALGARY- The University of Calgary Dinos opened their season with a 3-2 win against their cross-city rivals, the Mount Royal University Cougars, on Friday night at the Father David Bauer Arena.
The Dinos came out hungry and ready to kick start a season that will see them host the CIS National Championships in March. Just five minutes into the first period, Dinos team captain Iya Gavrilova opened the scoring with Calgary's first goal of the season as she fought hard for a loose puck and banged it past Cougars' goaltender Jess Ross.
"It felt good to get that first goal out of the way," said Gavrilova. "It's nice to be up in the first period, it's good for the team and a good start."
Calgary would increase their lead to two just before the end of the first period at the 1:58 mark. Heather Berzins raced to a puck about to leave the zone and managed to get it towards the goal. Parked in front of Ross was 2013-14 Dinos top scorer Janelle Parent who netted her first of the campaign to make it 2-0.
It didn't take Mount Royal long to strike back in the middle stanza. Just 43 seconds in, on the power play, Sydney Laurin connected on a pass from Sarah Weninger in front to pull Mount Royal within one goal, making it 2-1. Tanika Dawson collected a helper on the goal.
The Dinos didn't generate a shot on net until the 11-minute mark of the second period when Sarah Astle had a two-man breakaway. The veteran defenceman got a good attempt off, but couldn't put it past Ross.
"We came out flat, but at the end of the second we switched the momentum. It's good we battled back," said Gavrilova on the beginning of the second period.
Calgary would once again increase their lead to 3-1 with just eight minutes to play in the second. Stephanie Zvonkovic put a shot from the point through traffic and in on the powerplay with Megan Grenon and Parent picking up assists.
Mount Royal would cut the deficit to one in the third period on a turnover by the Dinos. Delaney Edwards capitalized on the play as she grabbed the puck in front of the goal and beat second-year netminder Hayley Dowling.
Mount Royal took a late double minor that hurt their chances at tying the game, even after pulling Ross for a fifth skater. The Cougars got just one shot attempt on Dowling, but the Calgary goalie turned it away to preserve the season-opening win.
Calgary outshot Mount Royal 23-20.
The Dinos now have a record of 1-0-0, while the Cougars are 0-1-0.
"Tomorrow is going to be an even harder game and we need to come prepared, it's going to be a good game," explained Gavrilova.
The Dinos will faceoff against the Cougars again tomorrow night at the Flames Community Arena in Calgary; puck drop will be at 7 p.m.