By: Kelly-Anne Roberts, Dinos Communications
CALGARY - The University of Calgary Dinos will host a home-and-home set against their oldest rivals the No. 5 University of Alberta Pandas to close out regular season action.
Calgary is looking to get back into the win column after losing both games last weekend (Jan. 30-31), against the University of Regina Cougars. Friday evenings game was a close one with the Cougars coming from behind to win the game in overtime 6-5, and despite outshooting the Cougars Saturday afternoon, Calgary lost 5-4.
"This weekend we just need to build off the little things we did right. We had a strong fore-check last weekend, we need to keep that up against the Pandas," explained fifth year forward Chelsea Peterson.
The Dinos will travel to Edmonton Friday night where the puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. at the Clare Drake Arena.
Dinos will return to Calgary Saturday to play the Pandas one last time in the regular season. Saturday's game is Enterprise Senior Player recognition night, where the Dinos will recognize their five fifth year players. The game will be played at the Father David Bauer Arena where action will get underway at 6 p.m.
Assisted Captain Sarah Astle has spent four years as a Dino after transferring to Calgary for the 2011-2012 season from Saint Mary's University in Nova Scotia. In Astle's first year as a Dino she was a part of Calgary's first CIS National title and was a part of the Silver medal at Nationals the following year. Astle is a shutdown defenseman in four seasons with the Dinos; Astle has an overall +11 rating, quiet remarkable for a defenseman.
Janelle Parent is among the five players completely their eligibility with the Dinos. Parent has spent the last two seasons with the Dinos after transferring from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. In just two seasons with the Dinos Parent has registered 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists). During the 2013-2014-season Parent lead the team in points with 21and has already surpassed that number this season with 24 points, second on the team.
Assisted Captain Erika Mitschke has played all five years of her eligibility with the Dinos. Mitschke is the only graduating player this year that was born and raised in Calgary. Mitschke was a part of the CIS National championship winning team as well as the silver medal the following year at Nationals. Mitschke has managed 10+ points in all of her seasons played as a Dino.
Forward Jenna Smith has had a remarkable career with the Dinos over the last five seasons. In Smith's rookie season she led all Canada West rookies in scoring and was the first Dino to be named Canada West rookie of the year. Smith also received the Bill Popplewell award as the University of Calgary's female rookie of the year. Smith was a part of the CIS National winning team in 2012. In 2013 Smith was a part of Team Canada at the FISU games in Trentino Italy where she helped Canada win the gold with two goals and one assist in the 5-0 final over Russia.
Chelsea Peterson rounds out this years graduating players. Peterson has played all five years of her eligibility with the Dinos and was also a member of the CIS National Championship team. Despite missing part of her second season due to injury, Peterson was still an asset to the team. She's never been afraid to grind in the corners for the puck and do what she has to do for the better of the team.
"It means a lot to me to be a Dino," said Peterson. "You work so hard to get the opportunity to play at the CIS level and being on the Dinos just makes it that more special. This team has become my family over the 5 years and
I couldn't ask for a better group of girls to be my second family."
This weekend's game at the Father David Bauer Arena is the final regular season game at home for Calgary and will be an important one. Alberta currently leads the Canada West Conference with a record of 17-6-1 and are fifth in the Nation. Calgary swept Alberta when the two teams played each other in November in a home-and-home series and are hoping to do the same in this final home-and-home series. Calgary has a current record of 13-6-5 and are fourth in the Conference.
"This season we have done well, we are a talented group of girls. Coming into the last two weekends we just need to continue to work hard and play for each other," said Peterson.
Following the Pandas game in Calgary on Saturday, they will return home to host the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, February 13-14.
The Dinos will round out their regular season action next weekend in Winnipeg as they face-off against the University of Manitoba Bisons.