By Crystal Wong
After a week off, the Dinos traveled to Winnipeg with a 3-2-1 record for a pair of games against the University of Manitoba Bisons Nov. 4-5.
Both teams came out firing Friday night, with 35 shots on net in the first period alone, but no one managed to put the puck behind the goaltenders. The Bisons finally opened scoring in the second period with an even strength goal by Steve Haddon.
Although the Dinos were out-shot 32-25 in the first two periods, they quickly regrouped during the intermission. Seven minutes into the final stanza, Bisons goalie Krister Toews gave up a rebound on a Ryan Annesley shot and paid for it as Travis George buried the puck past him. Shortly after the game-tying goal, Dino Brett O’Malley savoured a breakaway opportunity, making the game 2-1. That remained the final score and the Dinos’ comeback was complete.
In Saturday’s game, the Dinos were determined to extend their winning streak to three games. Things went their way in the beginning, with Alex Lalonde scoring a short-handed goal after a careless turnover by the Bisons.
Unfortunately, the Dinos’ lead only lasted for five minutes. Shortly after Lalonde’s goal, Bison rookie Nick Cowan beat goalie Scott Talbot to tie the game at one.
Manitoba dominated the second period, getting their first lead of the game at 2:23 with a shot by Aaron Starr. Six penalties later, Bison Richard Wood scored to give his team a two-goal lead. It appeared at the time that the Dinos had broken down and would never recover. After all, the Dinos only had six third-period goals in the season thus far.
Despite the nagging statistic, the Dinos fought back. Jarret Lukin scored early in the third, followed by a goal from Wes Reid at 10:57. The score was tied once again and it seemed like deja vu from the previous game, with the Dinos fighting back in the final period. Only this time, the Bisons didn’t give up.
After sending eight shots Talbot’s way, Manitoba regained the momentum and eventually scored with a shot from captain Kevin Saurette. Hoping to send the game to overtime, the Dinos pulled Talbot for an extra attacker. However, the Dinos failed to capitalize and Saurette added an empty-netter to make the final score 5-3 for the Bisons.
Annesley and Reid each netted two points in the two games. The Dinos are now 4-3-1 in the season, giving them nine points and a tie for the top spot in Canada West’s Mountain Division with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and University of Alberta Golden Bears. The Dinos take on the University of Regina Cougars Nov. 11-12 at the Father David Bauer Arena. The Dinos won the previous two matches between the teams this season.