Max Sturley, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – Following a penalty filled affair the night before, the University of Calgary Dinos bounced back with the help of three different goal scorers, defeating the University of Regina Cougars 3-2, Saturday afternoon at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.
A sloppy start for the Dinos as just 39 seconds in, Regina forward Ian McNulty opened up the scoring on the Cougars first shot of the game. Following a juicy turnover up the middle of the slot, Cougars defender Isaac Schacher took a wrister from the blue line that was perfectly deflected by McNulty between the leg and glove of Dinos goaltender Jordan Papirny. For the second straight match between these two squads, the Cougars scored the first goal of the game.
Five minutes later, the Dinos bounced back and tied the game, thanks to the red hot Mitch Cook.
On the play, Cook parked in front the net as defender Dane Gibson unloaded a wrist shot that Cougars goaltender Michael Herringer stopped. The rebound popped out to Cook who tucked it shortside past Herringer, tying up the game. For Cook, that tally was his second in as many games.
Teammate Cain Franson knows Cook has the ability to continue to score: "Cook has always been an offensive guy. He had really good numbers in junior. He's somebody I've always knew who could put the puck in the net, so it doesn't come by a surprise to me by any means. When you have guys step up like that, it's always huge for the team. I think he can keep it going and I'm excited for him."
Heading into the second period tied at ones, the Cougars wasted no time looking for the lead. 35 ticks into the period saw rookie forward Zak Zborosky sprung on a breakaway, but Papirny shut him down.
Papirny was busy in the middle frame, stopping a plethora of high quality scoring chances from the Cougars offence. These scoring opportunities were highlighted by a stunning glove save on Tristan Frei. Following a crazy bounce off the lively backboards, a spun around Papirny managed to recover, robbing Frei blind.
For Papirny, it's definitely a save to remember, but the win is more important: "There's obviously been some big saves, that'll definitely be added to the highlight reel for sure, but at this point I'm more worried about the win. It was really big for us to get back in the win column, get going back in the right direction."
The two sides looked destined to remained tied heading into the last 20, but Chris Collins changed that notion. With just 11 seconds left, the Dinos took their first lead of the weekend, thanks to crafty deflection from the aforementioned Collins. Collins deflected a Drydn Dow point shot stickside past Herringer, good for his fourth goal of the season. Luke Harrison who set up Dow from the goal line, grabbed the secondary assist on the play.
The late tally allowed the Dinos to escape with the lead heading into the third.
The Dinos lead doubled off the stick of Cain Franson. After a nifty set up from Collins, Franson went top cheese on the glove of Herringer: "On the goal there, lucky enough I was back checking and [Collins] made a good step up there on the blue line and their [defenseman] turned it over. I called for it and he gave me a little bump and I saw I had some space so once I was past the top of the circle, I knew I was shooting. Lucky enough it went in."
The Cougars responded just 37 seconds later, cutting the lead to one, but that's as close as they'd get. Papirny remained solid following the goal, guiding the Dinos to a gutsy 3-2 victory.
"We still need to be better, we got the win, but we have some work to do" added head coach Mark Howell. "If we want to become the team we think we can, we have some work to do, but it's a big two points."
Regina will be at home next weekend to take on the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, while Calgary will travel to Winnipeg, to take on the University of Manitoba Bisons, Nov. 24-25.
Photo by David Moll