CALGARY- The No. 10 University of Calgary Dinos broke the No. 8 University of Saskatchewan Huskies' five game win streak with a 4-1 win on Friday, Jan 9th at the Father David Bauer Arena.
"We're on a bit of a streak now. This team has come a long way. We dominated tonight," said Hayley Wickenheiser on Friday's game.
In a battle for first place the Dinos came out looking to strike first. It appeared as though the Dinos would get on the board midway through the first when Alexandra Vafina had a breakaway and thought she had beat Huskies' goaltender Cassidy Hendricks, the goal was waved off and Vafina was awarded a penalty shot that Hendricks stopped.
"I have been waiting for this for a long time. I'm feeling great after this game," explained Vafina on her first game with the Dinos. "Shooting will be key for us tomorrow. The third period felt the greatest for me. Looking for each other and shooting whenever we have the chance works best for me and the team."
Calgary's late pressure led to them finally scoring the game's first goal at the end of the first. Heather Berzins intercepted a Saskatchewan pass behind the net, walked out and caught Hendricks out of position to score her third of the season to put Calgary up 1-0.
The middle stanza was the most exciting of the night with special teams chances coming at both ends. Saskatchewan tied the game just a minute into the period with a slot pass from Rachel Johnson to Kandace Cook, who made no mistake and beat Carissa Fischer with a high backhand shot.
The action didn't stop there. 12 minutes into the period Berzins was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for body checking. A mere 40 seconds later, the Dinos' bench received a two-minute minor to put the team down two players. Despite being down five-on-three, Wickenheiser found the back of the Huskies net with a slap shot just outside the ringette line. Iya Gavrilova and Sarah Astle set up the partial breakaway and picked up assists on the play.
"I said to Iya before the faceoff, 'if we have a chance with some open ice to go for it'. She made a great pass, I saw the net open, shot it, and it went in," explained Wickenheiser.
Wickenheiser and Gavrilova continued to produce with two minutes remaining in the period. Gavrilova made a point pass to Wickenheiser who put another slap shot on net. Parked in front was Janelle Parent, who got a piece of it to put the Dinos up 3-1.
Calgary would add one more to their total in the third period. Kate Lumley claimed her first of the season on a point shot that was deflected off a defender in front before eluding Hendricks low.
The win pulls Calgary one point ahead of Saskatchewan for first place. Tomorrow will be a pivotal night around the conference with four teams within one point of first place.
The Dinos improve to 10-3-4 with the result, while Saskatchewan falls to 11-4-4.
The Dinos will face the Huskies for the last time in regular season action tomorrow evening, Jan. 10th at the Father David Bauer Arena. Puck drop is set to get underway at 6 p.m. with the game available on CanadaWest.tv.