Max Sturley, Dinos Communications Assistant
CALGARY – With the University of Calgary Dinos battling for their playoff lives, the University of Manitoba Bisons spoiled the bid and defeated the Dinos, 4-2, Friday evening, Jan. 27, at the Father David Bauer Arena.
"They executed the game plan, we played well tonight, and we played much better than the last four games we've played," head coach Danielle Goyette commented on the action. "These girls put everything on the ice tonight. I can say that I'm happy with the effort for 60 minutes."
The Bisons and Dinos were scoreless until the midway mark of the first period, as the Bisons opened the scoring. Manitoba forward Courtlyn Oswald cut out from behind the net and roofed a backhand shot past the blocker of Dinos goaltender Kelsey Roberts.
With Dinos forward Rachel Paul taking two consecutive hooking penalties, the Bisons had ideas of adding to their lead. Roberts got in the way, as she made seven saves on the two power plays, including a couple opportunities coming from the low slot.
The best chance for the Dinos came from the back end as defenceman Megan Grenon hammered a slap shot from the left point, only to be denied by Bisons netminder Rachel Dyck, who through a maze of skaters, got a shoulder on the blast and kept the puck out.
Despite some flurries for both sides, the score remained 1-0 heading into the second.
In the second, the offense started to come from both sides. Manitoba cushioned their lead to two as Lauren Keen, the Bisons leading scorer, potted a juicy rebound following a point shot. Undeterred, Calgary forward Sara Craven opened the scoring for her squad, as she spun around in the high slot before slipping the puck past Dyck, making it 2-1.
The makeshift line of Craven, Heather Berzins and Paul was the teams' best in the eyes of their head coach; "I liked the line tonight, they brought a lot of speed. Our second line tonight really pulled us and gave us some energy and all the players fueled from them and got better and better, even after a couple shifts."
Just 1:09 later, Dinos defender Merissa Dawson unloaded a slap shot that deflected off of Kira Makuk, who provided the screen, as the puck dipped past Dyck, tying the game quickly. For Dawson, she picked up an assist, which was her first point of the season.
Before the period closed, the Bisons restored their lead as directly after an end-to-end rush by Venla Hovi, Jordyn Zacharias, followed the play, and snuck the puck through Roberts on the doorstep, giving Manitoba the one goal lead through 40 minutes of action.
Entering the third, the Dinos were denied any quality scoring chances until the middle stages of the period. Following a mad scramble, Madison Turk slapped a shot on goal, with the rebound bouncing right into the high slot. With Dyck out of position, Delaney Frey came in, and wristed a shot, which dinged off the crossbar and went out of play, ending the scoring threat.
With the Dinos searching for a late goal, the Bisons capitalized on the empty net. From her own end, Lauren Keen added her second goal of the game, making it 4-2, which it remained until the final horn.
With the loss, combined with the Mount Royal University Cougars getting a point in their double overtime loss, Calgary was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
"At the end of the day, we might not make the playoffs, but now it's time to disturb the rankings of everyone else, we don't want to finish last," Goyette added. "If somebody wants to give up and relax, I don't think they will be dressing for the next game."
The two teams will resume battle, in a matinee affair, Saturday, Jan 28th at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary, puck is set to drop at 3 p.m.