The scores from last weekend’s Dinos-Bisons matchup at the University of Manitoba might tell you that the Dinos played better hockey in Friday’s 6-3 win than in Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss, but coach Tim Bothwell disagrees.
"We actually played better on Saturday," said Bothwell. "Friday was an ugly, scrambly game by both teams. Saturday was a more solid game, but a bad goal cost us and we inexcusably gave up a shorthanded goal in overtime."
On Friday, the Dinos got two goals each from Colin Embley and Matt Holmes, while Eoin Colquhoun and Ryan Geremia added singles. Ronnie Grimard and John Taggart each racked up three assists. On Saturday, Peter Heal, Grimard, Trevor Segstro, and Colin Kent were responsible for the offence.
"Our checkers played well–Tom Malin, Peter Heal and Ryan Geremia," said Bothwell. "Trevor Segstro played with a lot of energy. Matt Holmes had five points; that’s what we need from him."
The Dinos’ number-one goaltender continued his strong play, stopping 25 of 28 shots in the Dinos’ victory.
"Scott Rideout played well on Friday, but he didn’t have a lot to do," said Bothwell.
Tyler Nilsson stopped 19 of 24 shots in the loss on Saturday.
Going into the weekend, the Dinos were locked into second place in the Canada West conference’s west division, with little chance of dropping back or moving up. The Bisons, on the other hand, still had a chance to host their first-round playoff series.
"I was surprised Manitoba didn’t play more intensely," Bothwell stated, "since they’re fighting for home advantage in the playoffs. The games didn’t mean a lot to us."
The Dinos have one series left before the playoffs start, hosting the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, who have already been relegated to fourth place in the division, just out of the playoffs. The Dinos took away three of four points when the teams met in Vancouver in November.
"They’re a good team," said Bothwell. "They’ve played well lately. Their record is not what it should be."
Among the things the Dinos have to watch for is the T-Birds’ new goalie, who spent last season with the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.
While the UBC games may not mean anything in the final standings, Bothwell said that the Dinos aren’t looking beyond this weekend yet.
"We’re trying to work with they guys," he explained. "These are two games where we can brush up for the playoffs. We’ve played better in the second half and we want to continue that."
Veteran Trevor Murray was absent from the U of M games, battling an injury that has kept him in and out of the lineup since he rejoined the Dinos in early January. Murray is expected to be back this weekend, giving the Dinos a completely healthy roster for the first time in months.
"This is maybe the first time this year that we’ve been able to put everybody in," said Bothwell.
The Dinos will host the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Feb. 25-27 in the first round of the CW playoffs. For game times, phone 220-DINO.