WHKY: Roberts shines again as Dinos fall 1-0 to T-Birds

WHKY: Roberts shines again as Dinos fall 1-0 to T-Birds
Arron Lai, Dinos Communications

CALGARY - After being defeated by the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 4-1 on Friday night, the University of Calgary Dinos looked to bounce back with a matinee victory at Father David Bauer Arena to secure a weekend split. Despite a strong effort, and a more tightly contested game, UBC eked out a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal with 2:50 to play.

Last night's game was characterized by consistent pressure from the Thunderbirds, as they mustered 43 shots. Second year goalie Kelsey Roberts was fantastic for the Dinos, stopping 39 of the 43 shots in the losing effort. Roberts was outstanding for the Dinos once again, stopping 38 of 39 shots in the losing effort. However, the Dinos were also able to put together a more complete game, both offensively and defensively, giving themselves a chance to win.

As head coach Danielle Goyette explains, "I'm really happy with the effort of the players tonight. The way they responded to yesterday's game - we were in their face, took time and space away from them. All the players put everything they had on the ice."

The first ten minutes of this game were high energy, with both teams moving the puck down the ice in pursuit of the game's first goal. Despite only five combined shots in the first ten minutes, both teams looked fresh and rejuvenated despite the quick 19 hour turnaround.

Kelsey Roberts picked up right where she left off the previous night, with two big saves in the opening frame to keep the game scoreless after one. The Dinos' best chance of the period came roughly 11 minutes into the game when Paige Michalenko fired a shot from the point, resulting in a rebound that Tori Stebnitsky was just shy of tapping in.

The second frame was a wild-one, with Kelsey Roberts making a fantastic breakaway save roughly a minute into the period. Moments later, 1:55 into the second, the Dinos took a five-minute major penalty. The penalty kill unit was excellent, supported by great play from Roberts. The remainder of the period was the Kelsey Roberts show, as the Kitimat, BC native stopped chance after chance to keep the game scoreless after two. The offense also had multiple chances, but were unable to capitalize due to stellar play by UBC goaltender Amelia Boughn.

As Kelsey Roberts explains, the team was prepared for the high-energy Thunderbirds.

"We knew coming in they were a really good team. They are pretty rough and we knew we had to be ready for it. I think last night we weren't quite there but today we came back and gave them a good run. That's exciting and we'll have to keep building off that."

The third period saw more of the same, as the Thunderbirds continued to pressure the Dinos in search of the game's first goal. Kelsey Roberts continued to stand tall to keep the game scoreless. With 2:50 to play, UBC got on the board as a two-on-one chance saw Hannah Clayton-Carroll snipe a top-shelf laser to put her team ahead. The Dinos pulled Roberts with 46 seconds to play and had a couple of good opportunities, but were unable to capitalize.

When asked about how the team can spark their offense, coach Goyette noted: "It is going to start in practice. Every time you have a chance to put the puck in the net - you need to. Instead of being nice to each other, we have to demand more. We need to be hungrier to puck the puck in the net."

Kelsey Roberts finished the weekend with 77 saves over the two games - giving her team a chance to win both nights. When asked how she plans to recover and move forward into next week, she noted: "I'm going to eat lots of food and drink lots of water. We got the University of Alberta next week and they're a great team too, but I think we're ready for it and we just got to build off this last game and keep being excited."

Up next, the Dinos will prepare for a home-and-home series with the University of Alberta Pandas. Friday's game will be in Edmonton at the Clare Drake Arena with puck drop set for 7 p.m. before shifting to Father David Bauer Arena on Saturday for a 6 p.m. start time.

Photo by David Moll