Weninger nets winner, Cougars win first game of the season

Weninger nets winner, Cougars win first game of the season

Max Sturley, Dinos Communications Assistant

CALGARY- The Mount Royal University Cougars defeated the University of Calgary Dinos, 2-1, nabbing their first victory of the season, Friday night, Oct. 21, at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.

A scoreless first period saw a number of scoring chances for both sides. Beginning with the Dinos, Sage Desjardins deked past the Mount Royal defense, getting the puck to Kate Lumley, who was robbed on the backhand by Cougars keeper, Zoe DeBeauville. The Cougars best chance of the first frame came in the form of a deflected shot off the post, as defender Channia Alexander walked the blue line before ripping a slap shot off the glove side post, keeping the game tied at zeroes heading into the second period.

A Dinos early power play was highlighted by a close play for Alexandra Vafina. Vafina collected the puck atop the right circle, she beamed a wrist shot labelled for the top corner. The referees waved it off, citing that the puck hit off both posts and stayed out.

"We were disappointed as a team, and the players went down a bit," stated Dinos head coach Danielle Goyette. "The rest of the second period was so-so, I don't think it was a good period. Again, we didn't play for 60 minutes and it's going to cost us some games."

The near goal for the Dinos was followed up shortly by the Cougars at the 8:59 mark of the middle stanza. Reanna Arnold pounced on a loose puck in the high slot, and slipped it passed the right leg of Hayley Dowling, getting her second goal of the season.

The Dinos tied the game in the third period as Cheyann Newman buried a puck from hash marks, thanks to a strong fore-check and steal from fellow line-mate Heather Berzins. Berzins in just her second game back from injury, was praised by her coach for her effort: "She loves to play, she wants to make sure she leaves everything on the ice. Her work ethic is contagious, as she brings it for the rest of the team."

The game winner came from fifth year Cougars forward, Sarah Weninger, as she fought off a defender, cut to the backhand, and roofed the puck over Dowling, getting the unassisted game winner.

The Cougars will play a home-and-home series, next weekend, Oct. 28-29th as they face off against the University of Alberta Pandas.

The Dinos will be back on the home ice Friday, Oct 28 as they begin a home-and-home series against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns at 7 PM, at the Father David Bauer Arena.