Max Sturley, Dinos Communications Assistant
CALGARY – Better late than never for the University of Calgary Dinos to pick up their first two game winning streak of the season, with Sage Desjardins scoring the winner, as Calgary defeated the University of Regina Cougars, 4-3, Friday evening at the Father David Bauer Arena.
After allowing the first five shots on goal, the Dinos opened the scoring. Set up by Alex Vafina, forward Delaney Frey walked into the Cougars zone before sniping a wrist shot past Regina goaltender Morgan Baker.
Forward Rylee Smith doubled the Dinos lead on a costly Cougars turnover. Right in front of the net, Smith quickly potted the puck past an unsuspecting Baker, making it 2-0. The two goal lead only lasted 40 seconds, as Cougars forward Kylee Kupper converted on a breakaway, making it 2-1.
Before the period ended, the Cougars tied the game 2-2. On the power play, Emma Waldenberger scored on her third chance right on the doorstep, as she squeaked the puck through Dinos goaltender Kelsey Roberts. After 20 minutes, Regina outshot Calgary 12-8.
Under three minutes into the second, Dinos forward Heather Berzins gave her squad another lead. From distance, Berzins found a lane in the high slot before wristing the puck past Baker, making it 3-2. Linemate Tori Stebnitsky drew the only assist on the play.
The Dinos second period penalty trouble finally caught up with them, as the Cougars tied the game again. Forward Emma Waldenberger capped off a beautiful rush by parking in front Roberts before lofting the puck into the twine. Through 40 minutes, the Dinos conceded 6 minor penalties to the Cougars two. The score remained tied 3-3, despite quality chances for Cougars defender Nikki Watters-Matthes and Dinos forward Chelsea Court late in the frame.
After no shots for either side through the first seven minutes of the third, the Dinos found an opening. Right after failing to convert on a 5-on-3 advantage, Desjardins following a bank shot from the point, one-timed the puck past a sprawling Baker, giving the Dinos their third lead of the game.
For Desjardins, the goal marked her first as a Dino: "It was on the power play, and it was my first goal of the season. My linemates were like 'you're going to score, you're going to score' and then it just popped out," said the first year forward. "It was a great shot from the point, I think it was Paige [Michalenko] from the point. I didn't really believe it was there, but it went in the net, and it felt good," Desjardins said with a laugh.
With less than a minute left and an extra attacker on, the Cougars couldn't draw even. Their best look came off the stick of team scoring leader Jaycee Magwood, but was stymied by Roberts twice in tight. That would mark the last chance for Regina, as the Dinos hung on for the 4-3 decision.
"The team pushed through that whole game, especially you could tell in the last ten minutes. We just weren't going to give up and not give it to them," said Desjardins. "It was really nice to see the whole team come together and play as hard as we did."
These two teams resume action tomorrow night, Saturday, 6 p.m. at the Father David Bauer Arena, as the Dinos will honour their three graduating players; Heather Berzins, Megan Grenon and Madison Turk prior to puck drop.