Cinderella run sends Dinos to playoffs

Cinderella run sends Dinos to playoffs

Kelly-Anne Roberts, Dinos Communications Assistant

CALGARY- The University of Calgary Dinos are headed to playoffs after defeating the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns 3-2, Saturday evening, Feb. 13th at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.

"It's an amazing feeling," explained fifth-year forward Iya Gavrilova. "We didn't have a good start to the season and then to see how far we have come, I'm so proud of this group."

 Calgary would complete their Cinderella story in their final home game of the regular season, to cap it all off for their three graduating players. Bronwyn Stevens and Stephanie Zvonkovic have played all five years of their eligibility as a Dino while Gavrilova has spent the last four seasons with the team.
 
"Out of four years of being a Dino, this has been the most fun year," stated Gavrilova. "This group works so hard and to see the girls improve so much, work for each other and play for each other, it's a special feeling for me."
 
In a must win game for the Dinos, they were first on the scoreboard. Stephanie Zvonkovic fired a low one-timer towards the net making its way onto the stick of Gavrilova who popped the puck over Alicia Anderson and in.
 
Unlike the previous game, which saw the Dinos lead 3-0 after the first period, Lethbridge had more urgency to tie this game before the end of the first period. On the power play Mattie Apperson put a quick slap shot on net from the right of Hayley Dowling, where Pronghorn Jenae Culp was waiting in front to deflect the puck in.
 
Calgary looked to control majority of the play in the second period, having several power play opportunities, but Lethbridge stood strong in front of Anderson keeping everything to the perimeter.
 
The Pronghorns got caught on a late change, Gavrilova passed the puck to a streaking Vafina who went in all alone against Anderson, beating her five-hole and breaking the tie.
Lethbridge wasn't ready to hand the Dinos their playoff spot just yet. Mid-way through the third period, Chelsea Kasprick passed the puck out from behind the net to Brett Campbell who had snuck into the high slot and buried the puck to tie the game.
 
Just twenty seconds later, the Dinos caught a lucky bounce. Zvonkovic shot a low wrister on net that once again found Gavrilova's stick and into the back of the net to win the game.
 
"It's all about the team, it's fun to win as a team," said Gavrilova. "I want to take this team all the way."
 The regulation win gives the Dinos a playoff and sending Lethbridge out of playoff contention.
 
"We're going to enjoy this today and then refocus next week. There still room for improvement, we will work on some things and then go from there," stated Gavrilova.
 
Calgary will face either Regina, Alberta or UBC in the quarterfinals next weekend, Feb. 19th, 20th, 21st.
 

-UC-