Max Sturley, Dinos Athletics
CALGARY – Playing on the regular season's biggest stage, Kelsey Roberts put on a goaltending clinic, ending the University of Calgary Dinos' 2018 slump with a 1-0 victory over the Mount Royal University Cougars, Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"It's pretty awesome," said Roberts after her team's victory. "We had that slump without goals, but we got one tonight and then shut them down for the rest of the game. It was a pretty special game to win in."
The first period showcased a tentative start for both sides, as neither team could generate any quality scoring chances. The best chance for either side came off the stick off Kate Hufnagel, who found herself alone in the slot before ultimately lofting a shot over the cage.
The Cougars launched 10 shots at Roberts in the first 20 minutes, but the game remained scoreless.
In the second frame, the pace and chances for both squads ramped up. Delaney Frey on the doorstep was robbed by Cougars keeper Zoe DeBeauville following a nifty pass from linemate Tori Stebnitsky. For the Cougars, Tatum Amy failed to control a wide open breakaway pass, keeping the game deadlocked.
Going goal-less in the last six contests, it was the Dinos finally getting on the board. After a Sage Desjardins pass to the point, Merissa Dawson threw a low shot towards which Cheyann Newman deflected perfectly past DeBeauville.
For Newman, the goal was her first of the season which gave her back-to-back goals in games at the Saddledome, as she scored the Dinos lone goal last year.
Newman knew Dawson was going to shoot, so she went right to the net.
"I knew she was going to shoot. When I saw it coming, I just got my stick up and got the deflection."
Despite the goal, it was the momentum that swung in favour of Mount Royal. Anna Purschke missed a golden rebound opportunity before Roberts made a miraculous save. On a 2-on-1, Reanna Arnold sauced a pass over to Tianna Ko who blasted the puck on goal, but Roberts went cross-crease to keep her shutout intact.
"I saw my defenceman go down and know how fast she was sliding and I saw [Arnold] looking pass, so I cheated over a little bit and I was able to get there in time," Roberts explained.
The glorious chance by Ko led to a Dinos power play following the scramble, but the Cougars kept the deficit at one heading into the third. Megan Carver nearly tied the game late on a shorthanded break, but Roberts threw a perfect poke check to keep the lead at one.
Penalty trouble started early for the Dinos in the third as Diane Hitchings and Kate Lumley were assessed back to back minors, but Mount Royal only managed to generate one quality look from Reanna Arnold, which Roberts stopped.
The Cougars continued to press but were unable to beat Roberts, as the Dinos edged out a 1-0 victory. Roberts, who was named first star of the game, made 27 saves, good for her sixth shutout of the season.
With the victory, the Dinos are now tied with the Cougars for fifth in Canada West, with the rematch set for tomorrow night at the Flames Community Arenas. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. and the game can be streamed live on CanadaWest.tv
Photo by David Moll