By: Kelly-Anne Roberts, Dinos Communications
CALGARY- The University of Calgary Dinos look to play spoiler to the University of Alberta Pandas' hopes of moving on to the Canada West Finals. The Dinos will travel to Edmonton this weekend, Feb. 27th-29th to play in the best of three Canada West semi-finals playoff series against the Pandas.
The Dinos swept the visiting University of Saskatchewan Huskies this past weekend, Feb. 20th-22nd, in the first round of playoffs. Allowing them to move onto the semi-finals.
Calgary took Friday evenings game in a decisive 5-1 victory. Janelle Parent put two in the back of the net for Calgary and picked up an assist to cap a three-point night for herself, eight different Dinos collected a point in Friday's game.
The Huskies looked to tie the series up in the second game on Saturday evening but it would be the Dinos who claimed the win and their spot in the Canada West semi-finals ending the Huskies season with the 3-2 win. The Dinos were first on the board in the first, the Huskies tried to tie it early in the second but couldn't get the go ahead goal to claim the lead. The Dinos line of Iya Gavrilova, Alexandra Vafina and Jenna Smith collected all three of Calgary's goals; Gavrilova and Vafina each had two points while Smith had three. The Dinos took the lead in the second and controlled the outcome from there.
Heading into this weekend Calgary has the advantage of having played two playoff games, and now have a record of 2-0 in the playoffs. Alberta had a first round playoff by because they finished first in the Canada West conference; this also gives them home ice advantage for the weekend. Calgary has a 1-1 record when playing at the Clare Drake Arena against Alberta this season.
These two teams have a long-standing rivalry that became only stronger when the Dinos won their first CIS National Championship on Pandas ice in 2012 against the University of McGill Martlets. This year it will be the Dinos hosting the 2015 CIS National Championship at the Markin Macphail center in Calgary. The Dinos look to diminish the Pandas hopes of making it to Nationals this weekend. If the Dinos win two games they will head to the Canada West finals; whomever ends up playing the Dinos in the finals will move on to have a spot in the CIS National Championship tournament as the Dinos are hosting and get an automatic by. A series win for the Pandas means they will have to win the Canada West Finals to visit Calgary for the Nationals.
Calgary has made it clear all season that they want to earn their way into the National Championship and be a serious contender, a statement that Calgary has stuck by, finishing the season in fourth place in the Canada West conference with a record of 14-9-5 and sweeping the first round of playoffs.
Alberta returns to the ice this weekend after finishing the regular season in first place with a record of 20-7-1 and sit fourth in the Nation. Alberta's forward Jessica Kampjes and Hannah Olenyk are a large part of Alberta's success, each had 25 points this season, Kampjes collected 13 goals and 12 assists while rookie Olenyk had 10 goals and 15 assists. Netminder Lindsey Post has been a dominating factor for Alberta as well, posting a career high of 10 shutouts with a 0.940 save percentage.
The Dinos will need to solve Post to claim the series in Edmonton this weekend. Action gets underway at the Clare Drake Arena on Friday, Feb. 27th at 2 p.m. Game two will start at 2 p.m. as well on Saturday, with a possible game three to follow on Sunday, Mar. 1st at 2 p.m. if necessary.