Bears stick two losses to the hockeysaurs

By Carly Benson

The Dinos got set to play their most important game so far this year in front of the largest crowd yet Fri., Nov. 26 at Father David Bauer Arena. Their arch rival, the University of Alberta Golden Bears were in town–a team that the Dinos had not defeated in 40 games. But for the Dinos, their pre-game preparation did not focus on this dismal winless streak, stretching all the way back to 1999.

“We know that they are a good team,” said Wade Davis, a first year defenseman.

“We have to approach it like any other game,” added center Ryley Layden. “It’s a nice rivalry. It’s good to see such a big crowd.”

Friday night’s match was a wild affair, where the Dinos demonstrated their resilience by coming back from two separate one-goal deficits, sending the game into overtime.

Calgary opened the scoring a mere 90 seconds into the match with Ryan Annesley getting his fifth goal of the season, a quick start that got the crowd right into the game. Unfortunately, the Bears responded with two quick powerplay goals only four minutes apart, giving them the lead heading into the second period.

The Dinos came out ready for battle and Wes Reid tied the game only two minutes into the middle frame. Unfortunately, the potent powerplay of the Bears struck yet again at the 12:42 mark while Dinos defenseman Travis George was off for holding. But again, Reid responded a mere 17 seconds later to pull the Dinos even once more. A scoreless third period decided nothing, and the game headed into overtime.

Special teams did it in for the Dinos, who went 0-4 on the powerplay while allowing three goals in nine opportunities when the Bears had the man advantage.

“You have to give the U of A credit for an awesome powerplay,” admitted Ryley Layden, “but we didn’t perform to our ability.”

As an unhappy ending to the hard fought battle, it was Joel Andreason from the U of A who put an end to the match 1:53 into overtime. The Bears scraped out a 4-3 victory, as the teams headed up to Edmonton for the second match in the home-and-home series.

Though Saturday night’s game seemed a lot more lopsided in score, with the Bears winning 5-2, for Wade Davis the loss boiled down to a rough second period.

“We didn’t play the way we wanted to for eight to ten minutes, and we lost the game,” he explained.

During that time, the Bears scored the three goals that made the difference. These “mental lapses,” as Davis put it, cost the Dinos two more points on Saturday. However, on a positive note, the two goals scored for Calgary came on the powerplay, a drastic improvement from the previous evening.

“We moved the puck a lot better and got shots through,” Davis explained.

The Dinos get a chance for revenge Jan. 7-8, when the Bears again come to visit. Some things need to change for the Dinos in order to emerge victorious.

“[The Bears] are not as untouchable as everyone makes them out to be,” said Adam Redmond. “We need to refocus. We didn’t get anything to show for it but we know that we can compete with them.”

The Dinos head out Dec. 3-4 to take on the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.