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The Dinos men’s hockey team took on the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns in a home-and-home series Nov. 25-26. The ‘horns have not been ranked in the top 10 this season while the Dinos just slipped out of the rankings the previous week. Despite having a better season thus far, the Dinos recorded a loss and a tie against the ‘horns last time the teams met Oct. 14-15.

“I think that our performance against Lethbridge this year has been unacceptable,” said Dinos defenseman Travis Friedley. “We need to play a full 60-minute game instead of 35 or 40 minutes of good hockey.”

This time around, the Dinos appeared to be more prepared, out-shooting Lethbridge in both games. Thanks to a huge offensive outburst from Ryan Annesley, the Dinos won the first game 6-2, improving their road record to 4-2-1. In the second game, however, the Dinos finished on the wrong side of a 4-2 score, dropping their home record to 2-4-1.

Playing in Lethbridge, the Dinos took the lead 3:54 into the first period and never looked back. Although the team took five penalties in the first, they killed all of the ‘horns’ powerplays and scored four goals, with Annesley assisting on three of them.

With the ‘horns’ starting goalie pulled in the second period, the offense slowed down for the Dinos. After putting 17 shots on net in the first, the count dropped to eight. The period’s lone goal belonged to the ‘horns as Logan Lavorato capitalized on a breakaway, beating Dinos goaltender Scott Talbot on the glove side to make the score 4-1 going into the second intermission.

Shortly into the final period, Lethbridge’s Andrew Switzer cut the lead to two after Dino Andre Blanchette was sent to the sin-bin for boarding. However, that was as close as the ‘horns would get. Annesley added two more goals, and the game got out of control both on the scoreboard and on the ice.

More than 70 penalty minutes were given out in the last two minutes of the game, including several fighting majors, 10-minute misconducts and game misconducts. Nonetheless, the Dinos got the win and travelled back to Calgary for a short rest.

The second game was an entirely different story. Four straight penalties translated into two Lethbridge powerplay goals from Jay Langager and Shaun Norrie, the latter scoring a short-handed goal in the same stanza. Goaltender Mike Lencucha was chased out of the net after giving up the three goals on just 12 shots. After Brett O’Malley scored late in the first and a scoreless second, the Dinos were down 3-1 heading into the third period.

Lethbridge made the score 4-1 early in the period and the Dinos didn’t get one back until the 18:23 mark. The score remained 4-2 for Lethbridge.

This was just the third win of the season for Lethbridge as they snapped a 10-game winless streak. Aside from the offensive performances by Annesley and O’Malley, Friedley recorded a goal and 12 shots over the two games. But he is not happy with the team’s performance as of late.

“In the last few games we have out-shot our opponents but have not been out-scoring them,” he said. “I think that scoring on our chances is one of our problems right now. We’ve given up five points to a last place team and if we are going to compete in Canada West, there is no way this can happen.”

The Dinos travel to the University of British Columbia to face the Thunderbirds Dec. 2-3, concluding their pre-Christmas regular season schedule.

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