Max Sturley, Dinos Communications Assistant
CALGARY – With a late five on three power play, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns capitalized, giving them the 2-1 win, forcing the weekend split against the University of Calgary Dinos, Saturday night, Jan 7th at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.
"I told them, it's not fun not to win. But we played well, we played well yesterday, we played well tonight, I think we're playing better right now than we did before Christmas" noted by Dinos Head Coach Danielle Goyette. "We're learning. Before Christmas, we had to learn how to win games, and right now, were not sitting back too much. If it's a tie game were not afraid to lose anymore, we just want the win. We have a lot of character on this team, we have to make sure we keep working hard and keep improving."
The Pronghorns opened the scoring, midway through the opening frame as Lethbridge forward Tricia Van Vaerenbergh cut out in front of the net, picked up her own rebound, and slid the puck far side into the back of the net on Dinos goaltender Sarah Murray.
Pronghorns goaltender Alicia Anderson continued her strong play as she made 11 first period saves as well as getting help from her skinny red friend, as Dinos defender Madison Turk pinched in from the blue line, deked two skaters before lifting a backhand shot off the left post.
Heading into the second, the Dinos continued their strong offensive push, in which they were rewarded with a goal. Just four minutes into the middle frame, Dinos forward Tori Stebnitsky followed the three-on-two rush parking in front of net before one-timing a cross seam pass from Calgary forward Sage Desjardins, helped along by Dinos forward Rylee Smith, resulting in her first goal of her young career.
With the game tied, the Dinos looked to build their lead. Dinos forwards Chelsea Court and Rachel Paul broke in on a two-on-one shortly following the tying goal. Paul fed Court, but was robbed point blank by a cross crease save from Anderson. Minutes after a sure goal, Anderson stopped another chance, as this time Paul was stoned cold by another cross crease glove save.
Anderson stopped 16 of 17 shots in the second, keeping the game tied at one heading into the third period. In the third, the same offensive push did not carry over for the Dinos. "You know what, like in the second period, we talked together, we were connected with the forwards and defence. We created a lot of turnovers, our fore check was working well" Goyette praising her squad. "In the third period, we started to cheat. Instead of sticking to the game plan, we tried to do too much."
Two late minor penalties for the Dinos gave Lethbridge an opening in the form of a 1:28 five-on-three power play. Quickly on the advantage, Pronghorns skaters Amber Yuha and Mattie Apperson played catch before Yuha took the pass, closed in and fired a shot off the crossbar and in, past the helmet of Sarah Murray. A flurry of chances by the Dinos in the final minute were to no avail, as Lethbridge held on for the 2-1 victory.
The Pronghorns will play the Mount Royal University Cougars in a home-and-home series next weekend, while the Dinos will take on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, twice on home ice, Jan 13th, 7PM and 14th, 6PM at the Father David Bauer Arena.