Max Sturley, Dinos Communications Assistant
CALGARY – Playing in their final game of the season, the University of Calgary Dinos fell to the University of Regina Cougars, 2-1 in overtime, Saturday night, February 11, at the Father David Bauer Arena.
"I liked the effort tonight, I think we worked hard, we didn't work smart all the time. But I feel like, even after they scored, we stayed in it," said head coach Danielle Goyette. "We wanted to go for the win compared to being afraid to lose, and that's something big for me."
Prior to puck drop, the Dinos recognized their three graduating players: defender Madison Turk, forward and assistant captain Heather Berzins and team captain Megan Grenon.
The first period proved to be limited in scoring chances for both sides. The Dinos eventually broke the stalemate, as Delaney Frey scored the only goal of the opening frame. Chelsea Court from her own zone, banked the puck forward to an onrushing Frey, who on the breakaway, snuck the puck five-hole past Cougars goaltender Jane Kish. For Frey, that goal marked her fifth of the season, and her second in as many nights.
After the first period, the Dinos were outshot 13-5, but held the one goal lead heading into the second.
In the middle frame, neither side could find the twine. For the Cougars, their best chance to score came from forward Emma Waldenberger. Skating into the high slot, Waldenberger ripped a shot that glanced off the knob of Dinos goaltender Kelsey Robert's stick and stayed out.
For the Dinos, Grenon led the way in opportunities for her squad. Following a penalty she took, she found herself playing forward, and was eventually gifted a breakaway. Grenon tried to sneak the puck past Kish, but Kish denied her with the paddle.
The score remained 1-0 after 40, with the Cougars leading the shot tally 25-11.
Halfway through the third, on their 34th shot of the game, the Cougars found a way past Roberts. Forward Merrisa Zerr had time and space in the slot before ripping the puck high glove past Roberts, tying the game 1-1.
The Cougars kept pushing, but Roberts again answered the bell. Shorthanded, Regina had a 2-on-1 rush where Waldenberger was stopped on the first shot, before collecting her own rebound, only to be robbed by the stick of Roberts. That save kept the game tied through regulation.
"If it wasn't for Kelsey tonight, we were not in the game," Goyette said. "As a program, if you have good goaltenders, you have a chance to get better and better. And I feel that we're solid in that aspect for the next four years."
Through 60 minutes, the Dinos were outshot 41-17, but with the score still tied, the contest went to overtime.
In overtime, the Cougars had the only scoring chance and they capitalized. Following a scramble, Alexis Larson collected the puck from the corner, walked out into the slot before beating Roberts blocker side, capping the 2-1 victory.
"This weekend we didn't want to finish last in the league," said Goyette. "With that point tonight, we're assured to finish seventh. It's a big achievement because when you don't play for anything, it's hard to motivate your players. When you look at the second half of the season, it's much better than the first half. I see a lot of positives for next season."
With the Dinos season coming to a close, after failing to qualify for the playoffs, the Cougars will travel to Saskatoon to take on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, in playoff quarter final action.