Max Sturley, Dinos Communications Assistant
CALGARY – In the fifth installment of the Crowchild Classic, the Mount Royal University Cougars fought off the University of Calgary Dinos, scrapping their way to a 3-1 victory Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"As a team we have to play 60 minutes. Tonight we didn't show up in the first period," said Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette. "If you have four shots in the second period, were not going to win games like that. When you struggle, you can't be fancy, you have to be simple and put the puck in the net. Tonight I feel like we tried to be fancy when we're struggling. I think we have to learn."
Just over six minutes in, the Cougars opened up a lead. On the power play, forward Nicolette Seper finished off a nice passing play, as she waited in the low slot before deflecting a pass up and over Dinos goaltender Kelsey Roberts.
Twelve minutes later, on another man advantage, the Cougars doubled their lead. Shawni Rodeback took a beautiful backdoor feed from Kate Hufnagel before one timing the puck past a sprawling Roberts. Hufnagel went from the right point across to the left circle, finding Rodeback with a perfect pass.
Rachel Paul and Sara Craven gave the Dinos their best chances of the period, as they had identical chances from the left, followed up with Cougars goaltender making a glove save both times.
The second period was scoreless with the Dinos being heavily outshot, but of the few shots Calgary managed, they were golden opportunities. First, Kate Lumley forced a shorthanded breakaway, only to be denied by Pincott with blocker. Shortly after, Rachel Paul broke in after a couple of dekes, but Pincott made a remarkable save, as the flung out her right denying Paul in tight.
"If we talk about luck, I don't think we've had one game all season where we've had luck," added Goyette. "To be lucky you have to be good and to be good you have to be lucky and I think we're struggling right now and nothing is going on our side."
Just 30 seconds into the third, Dinos forward Cheyann Newman cut the Cougars lead in half. Kate Lumley drove the play wide before centering to a wide open Newman, who one-timed the puck in right atop Pincott's crease, breaking her shutout bid in the process.
Less than three minutes later, Cougars forward Rachel Piitz, following a scramble, capitalized on a wraparound as the puck slowly trickled across the line. Piitz's goal restored the two goal cushion for Mount Royal.
The Dinos were unable to generate much following their lone tally of the game, as for the remainder of the final frame, Calgary only mustered three shots on goal, as the Cougars rolled to the 3-1 victory.
"You know when you play a good game and lose, it's disappointing but at you know you could not do anything else," Goyette continued. "Tonight, I feel like its disappointing cause we didn't bring our best game and that hurts way more when you finish a game like that."
The two teams will face off again Friday night at Father David Bauer Arena with the puck set to drop at 7 p.m.