By: Kelly-Anne Roberts, Dinos Communications
CALGARY- Having clinched a playoff spot in the Canada West conference, the University of Calgary Dinos prepare to face the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. The Dinos will host the Huskies this weekend, Feb. 20th-22nd for the first round of the playoffs.
The Dinos split the past weekend (Feb. 14th-15th), against the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Bisons took the first game in an affirmative 4-1 win. The Dinos were the first to get on the scoreboard but a third period comeback from the Bisons took the game. The Dinos claimed Saturday's game in overtime when Jenna Smith put home her twelfth of the season.
Saskatchewan's weekend went very similarly to that of Calgary's. Saskatchewan beat the University of Regina Cougars in a shootout Friday evening before losing 2-1, on Saturday.
The games on Feb. 14th-15th solidified the regular season, Canada West standings. Calgary had the same amount of wins as Saskatchewan but less loses which gave them a total of 45 points, three points ahead of Saskatchewan putting Calgary in fourth place and Saskatchewan in fifth and Calgary's reason for home ice advantage in the first round playoffs.
These two teams met up for the first weekend back in the new semester in January. The Dinos snapped the Huskies four game winning streak and swept the weekend, winning the first game 4-1 and the following game 5-2 on home ice. In four games played between the Dinos and Huskies this season each team has won two games each with home ice advantage. It will be the Dinos with home ice advantage in the first round of playoffs.
Their captain and leading scorer Iya Gavrilova, as well as Russian forward Alexandra Vafina will rejoin Calgary this weekend. Both players are returning from Granada Spain where they won gold for Russia at the 2015 Universiade Games. This is the first gold Russia has won in the since women's hockey has become a part of the games. Russia defeated Canada in the final 3-0, this was the second time in the tournament Russia defeated Canada and gave them their first two loses since being a part of the tournament.
Gavrilova was leading the conference in points with 37 before she left and is only three points out of the lead again despite missing two weekends of regular season action. The Dinos will be happy to have Gavrilova and Vafina back after struggling to find the win column these past two weekends.
Saskatchewan's Julia Flinton was also at the Universiade games representing Canada in women's ice hockey, taking home a silver medal and will be a huge asset for Saskatchewan to have back in their line-up.
This weekends match-up between the Dinos and Huskies will be the first time the two teams have met up in the playoffs since the Dinos have joined the CIS.
Action will get underway in Calgary, Friday evening at 7 p.m. at the Father David Bauer Arena for the beginning of a best of three series. Saturday's game will be at 6 p.m., with a potential game three on Sunday at 3 p.m.