Max Sturley, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – Despite holding the University of Saskatchewan Huskies to just 12 shots, it was the University of Calgary Dinos who fell in the opening game of 2019, losing 3-1 Friday evening at the Father David Bauer Arena.
"Those are tough, any loss is tough to swallow," said Dinos captain Dylan Busenius. "I thought that every guy in our room really competed and played with intensity for close to the entire game, those are the games that really sting."
A slow start to this contest changed quickly when Busenius was run from behind by Huskies forward Jaimen Yakubowski. The hit led to a skirmish in front of the Dinos bench, which ended with Yakubowski and Mitch Cook receiving offsetting penalties.
Jordan Papirny's first save of the game came halfway through the period, as he denied Huskies forward Collin Shirley on the breakaway with a glove save to keep the game scoreless.
The Huskies managed to draw a late penalty, and they capitalized quickly. Just five seconds into the man advantage, Logan McVeigh deflected a Jesse Forsberg wrist shot the break the deadlock.
The deflection was McVeigh's 11th tally of the season, with Forsberg and Levi Cable picking up the assists.
The 1-0 score would carry through the second period, as the two sides failed to score. The best chance of the middle stanza for either team came for Dinos forward Tim Vanstone, who nearly knocked in a failed clearing attempt by Huskies netminder Taran Kozun.
Entering the third period, the Dinos opened up the action throwing five shots on Kozun in the first two minutes. Just a minute later, the pressure paid off.
Matt Alfaro fired home his third goal of the season, capping off a gorgeous passing play which was started by Cain Franson. Coda Gordon then fed Alfaro in the high slot, who snapped it by Kozun, making it 1-1.
Six minutes later, the Huskies retook the lead thanks to a Franson high sticking penalty. 22 seconds into the power play, Saskatchewan's leading scorer Carson Stadnyk, finished off a doorstep chance sneaking the puck past an outstretched Jordan Papirny.
The Dinos pulled Papirny with two minutes to go, but a turnover at the offensive blue line led to Stadnyk picking up his second goal of the period to ice the game on an empty net.
By the final whistle, the two teams combined for a total of 42 penalty minutes, something Busenius expects to carry into tomorrow's rematch: "It's going to be a hard fought game, really intense on both sides and we're up for the challenge."
Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. tomorrow night at the Father David Bauer Arena.