Hard hockey hit ignites Cougars

The Olympic Oval was rocking and the boards were shaking Saturday night as the University of Calgary Dinos women’s hockey team played an extremely physical game against the Mount Royal Cougars. Despite the rough play, the Dinos were unable to win their sixth in a row, losing 2-1 Saturday after a 4-1 win on Friday.

With Saturday’s game less than a minute old, Dinos forward Danielle Boyce grabbed a Mount Royal turnover and went in alone on goalie Sarah Oswald.

With a hard wrist shot, she sent the puck to the back of the net and put the Dinos up 1-0 early. It was the only positive moment in the first period for the Dinos, who spent the remainder looking sluggish and undetermined. Mount Royal responded just over a minute later as Sash Hochlander put the puck behind Dinos goalie Nikki Love after a wild scramble ensued in front of the net.

“[We have] to go hard every period because it’s mainly one period that got us– the first period,” Love commented.

Just one minute after the goal, the game got physical as Dino Tiara Schoenroth was absolutely destroyed at centre ice by a hard hit. The hit motivated the Cougars and shortly after, Heather Gaska took a Calgary turnover and blew a shot right past Love.

The Dinos might have been looking to seek revenge for the goal and vented their frustrations from the slow start by becoming extremely physical.

The Dinos dumped the puck into the Cougar zone and forward Elana Lovell skated into the zone like a freight train, smoking the Mount Royal puck carrier who was sent flying onto her back and stayed down on the ground for a couple of seconds. But Mount Royal still controlled the first period, outshooting the Dinos 9-3.

The Dinos picked up their play in the remaining two periods, but were unable to alter the score. Mount Royal received great goaltending on the evening.

“We started off slow and it’s definitely going to be a learning curve for us as it is our first loss in six games,” said Boyce. “You just get kicked in the butt when you start off slow and lose the game. It is hard to swallow when you lose a game knowing you played better.”

The performance of first-year goaltender Love was a positive note for Calgary.

The game was the first hockey game in her university career and she was able to stop 19 of 21 shots, playing extremely well between the pipes.

“It’s great to play,” she said. “It’s nicer to win.”

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