MHKY: Four goal first period fends off Bears

MHKY: Four goal first period fends off Bears
Arron Lai; Dinos Communications

CALGARY - Thanks to a four goal first period, the University of Calgary Dinos defeated the number two ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears in game two of the home-and-home series, Saturday night at the Father David Bauer arena.
The Bears battled back despite being down 4-1 after 20 minutes, scoring a goal a piece in the second and thirds periods. However, the Dinos remained resilient, adding an empty net goal to seal a 5-3 win.
"We Showed some resiliency tonight," noted Dinos head coach Mark Howell. "Last night we played a really good first period, and then did not follow it up with a good second or third. Tonight, we got up 1-0 right away. They responded, but our guys showed good resiliency and fight and just kept going."
Action opened fast and furious as the Dinos and Bears showcased the intensity that typically defines the battle of Alberta. Yesterday's matchup featured 36 (thirty-six) penalties, so both teams understood the importance of a strong start.
As they did the previous night, the Dinos opened the scoring thanks to a great heads up play by second year forward Chris Racukman. After a Dylan Busenius slap shot, a failed clearing attempt by a Bears defender hit Racukman. On a heads up play, Rauckman simply turned and fired a laser past Bears goalie Zach Sawcheno to give the Dinos a 1-0 lead.

The Bears were quick to respond, finding the equalizer shortly after. Rookie sensation Steven Owre scored his tenth goal of the season, after tallying a hat trick in last night's contest. Unlike yesterday's game where the Bears scored five unanswered goals after the Dinos scored the game's first two, the Dinos were able to keep the foot on the gas. Exploding for three goals in under three minutes, the Dinos took a 4-1 lead into the first intermission. Chris Collins, Adam Kambeitz, and Riley Sheen all found the back of the net on impressive plays. First, Collins - who is tied for the team lead in points - broke out of the Calgary zone from the Dinos' faceoff circle. Speeding through the neutral zone, Collins gained the blue line and unloaded a big slap shot to put the Dinos back on top.

36 seconds later, assistant captain Adam Kambeitz got his stick on a point shot from Riley Sheen, putting the Dinos up by two.

"It has been good," explained Sheen when asked about his tenure with the Dinos thus far. "I have been having fun and the guys have been great. I am just having a lot of fun playing hockey."
The second period featured three more shots than the first, but only resulted in one goal. Bears forward Cole Sandord scored his ninth of the season, cutting the Dinos' lead to 4-2. However, as with last night's matchup, penalties were aplenty. After four penalties in the first frame, five penalties were assessed in the second.
The Bears began to play with a sense of urgency in the final 20 minutes, down two goals. Greenfield remained sharp for much of the third period, but the Bears broke through for their third goal at the midway point of the last stanza. A speedy snap shot by Taylor Cooper fooled Greenfield, pulling the Bears within one.
The Dinos remained composed, fending off the late pressure by the Bears, and adding an empty net tally.
"This time of year everyone is playing for something," said head coach Mark Howell. "They are fighting for first, and we are fighting for everything right now. You got to learn to play with a little bit of control but also with lots of emotions."
Next weekend, the Dinos will travel a province over for a pivotal series against the second place University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
"We got to be a consistent team," explained Riley Sheen when asked about next week's matchup. "We got to play a heavy game, a hard game. Going into Saskatchewan… we just got to play a simple hard game and I think we will be just fine."
 The Golden Bears will return home to Edmonton for a matchup against the University of Regina Cougars.
Photo by David Moll