After eking out a 3-2 win in Friday’s game against the University of Manitoba Bisons, the Dinos men’s hockey team was looking to step it up a notch.
And step it up they did.
"We stole the game [Friday]," said coach Tim Bothwell. "It was great to get the win, but we knew tonight we’d have to put in 60 solid minutes and it was as consistent an effort we’ve had all year."
Coming into the Father David Bauer Arena, the Bisons boasted a more then respectable 5-3-2 record. Always a force to be reckoned with, the Bisons would provide a good test for the Dinos who have had a streaky season thus far.
On Saturday, scoring started on a flamboyant note as rookie Jeff Yopyk broke up an odd-man rush, cut deep into the Bisons zone and danced in front to tuck away his first goal as a Dino.
The second period ran fast and hard with momentum shifting back and forth. The first half was dominated by an annoying Bisons team playing a good positional game. When the Dinos decided to, they took over, creating room for fast play-making and good scoring chances.
The flood gates opened to end the second stanza resulting in four goals in just over three minutes. When the smoke cleared, the Dinos took a 4-2 lead into the dressing room.
"We opened up a little in the second," said Peter Heal after the game. "[But] no one seemed worried. We were confident… and had a solid second."
Apparently confidence pays off, as Heal potted the Dinos’ fourth goal–the eventual game winner.
"Ronnie (Grimard) threw it up. I just drove to the net and knocked it in with a baseball swing," said the elated winger after the game.
Heal, a standout in the Dinos’ too-short playoff run last year, is a solid addition to the red and white since transferring from Mount Royal College prior to last season.
In the end, the Dinos did exactly what they wanted to do: dominate.
One indication came from the final shot count–the good guys firing 38 with only 19 coming back the other way. Many of the best opportunities were turned away by alert Dinos goalie Scott Rideout. The Bisons had a tough time matching the Dinos’ physical presence, and tried valiantly to shut down the Dinos’ big scoring line. The Dinos replied by spreading the goals around with six different scorers.
Also bulging the twine for Calgary were Colin Embley, Eoin Colquhoun, Matt Holmes, and Gavin Hodgson. Grimard and Judd Casper each had two assists.
Bothwell praised Colquhoun, who put in a three-point performance.
"He was the best player on the ice both nights," said Bothwell. "He played with a real passion and a desire. That’s what we need from all our guys."
Bothwell will look for a little passion next weekend as the team heads to the division cellar to take on the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.