Dan Khavkin, Cougars Athletics
CALGARY- Four points separated inner-city rivals Mount Royal and the University of Calgary heading into their third meeting of the season, but the outcome favoured the Dinos once again, stealing points on the road with a 3-1 win.
Calgary swept Mount Royal in their first meeting earlier in the season with the Dinos walking over the Cougars away from home defeating them 4-1 before completing the sweep in a much closer 3-2 affair the next day at Father David Bauer.
MRU came into the game in the middle tough stretch, looking to bounce back after getting swept at the hands of Alberta. Meanwhile, Calgary had their four game win-streak come to an end against UBC.
With the Dino win tonight, they extend their lead on third place to six points while extending their unbeaten run against the Cougars to four games.
Cougar bench boss Bert Gilling commented after the game, "There were a lot of positives from this game. Tuesday is going to be a challenge in seeing how our guys will respond with the energy of the game."
"We have a great opportunity to turn things around on such a big stage this coming Tuesday but we're going to have to be a lot better."
Parallel to the first game at the FCA earlier this season, the Dinos jumped to an early lead just 61 seconds into the contest.
Dane Gibson had his slapshot bank off of Bradley Schoonbaert and through Cougar goaltender Riley Morris on the first shot of the game.
Zach Henry almost responded for his home side Cougars when he was all alone against Jordan Papirny but rang the crossbar as the Dino goal was being announced.
Both teams locked one another down as shots were 4-3 in favour of the Dinos who took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room.
Both MRU and Calgary opened up in the second period but it was the Dinos who were forced to absorb the pressure throughout most of the opening half of the frame.
MRU poured on the pressure for a handful of shifts. Not capitalizing, the Dinos' counterattack proved deadly as Calgary doubled their lead 5:15 into the period.
After sustaining the siege and heavy press, the puck slipped past the Cougar defensemen which sprung a surprise odd-man rush. Veteran Riley Sheen was beneficiary of this for his 15th of the season, snapping a shot past a screened Morris who never saw it.
Morris stopped 19 on the night.
The ice seemed to inch tighter as the period progressed with both teams either fanning or not being able to find daylight in each other's zones.
Calgary continued their theme of scoring early in the third period as the third goal came on the man-advantage, just 31 seconds in courtesy of Chris Rauckman, who buried the puck into the net after a series of whacks.
The Dinos played a perfect road period, limiting the number of stops of play but couldn't hold onto their shutout bid as Brad Kennedy put the one and only point on the board for the Cougars on a man-advantage that struggled to find its rhythm all game long.
MRU went 1/6 on the power play while the Dinos were 1/4.
The second-year forward clapped the puck into the net at 14:58 but it was the only shot that did any damage out of the measly 19 shots thrown on the Dino net.
Tuesday Jan. 29 is the next game for both the schools who will prepare for one of the biggest events in the U SPORTS season, the Crowchild Classic game at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 6:45 p.m.