By Mike Flach
A sleepy Dinos team woke up near the end of their home-and-home series with the Lethbridge Pronghorns to eke out a win and a loss over the weekend.
"We didn’t really play with enough enthusiasm, passion, intensity either night," said head coach Tim Bothwell.
Even though the team didn’t play to the coach’s expected form, the second-place Dinos came out of the weekend splitting the two games with the fifth-place Pronghorns. After losing in Calgary on Friday night, the team won in Lethbridge the following day.
"We certainly had enough scoring chances to win Friday night," remarked Bothwell.
Calgary outshot the Pronghorns 25-18. After one period the Pronghorns led 1-0, and 2:13 into the second period, the Pronghorns popped an easy one to lead 2-0. Goalie Scott Rideout was then pulled from the net and replaced by Tyler Nilsson.
"[Rideout] played very well for us in the first period," said Bothwell. "He let in a bad goal early in the second period. We took him out not solely because it was a bad goal, but the whole team needed a jolt."
Rideout only faced eight shots, two of which had gone in.
"If we were playing better as a team at that point, if we’re playing hard and with some energy… then we can certainly let the goalies work through stuff like that," said Bothwell.
Pulling Rideout didn’t have the necessary effect. The game got closer at 16:22 of the second as Eric Schneider netted his second goal of the year. The Dinos failed to score on any of their eight powerplays, while the Pronghorns capitalized on one of their six.
Saturday was better for the Dinos as they took Lethbridge in a 3-1 decision. After no scoring in the first period, Matt Holmes finally scored for Calgary with 27 seconds left in the second. Schneider assisted on this and scored the other two Dino goals mid-way through the third. Nilsson started in net and his shutout attempt was thwarted by Pronghorn Dino Caputo late in the third.
"We played better the last half of the game Saturday night. [Nilsson] played very well in goal on Saturday, he helped us win the game," said Bothwell.
Bothwell was troubled by the lack of intensity the team brought out to start the game.
"We didn’t start really well on Saturday, it’s a real concern for us, we just don’t seem to be able to come out of the gate as well as we should," said Bothwell.
Schneider’s numbers on the scoreboard did not portray an excellent game, the coach remarked.
"He got points, I don’t think he played very well," said Bothwell. "It’s a good thing that he can still be productive point-wise if he doesn’t play particularly well."
Even with his less-than-stellar play, Schneider is tied for first place in scoring in Canada West with University of Saskatchewan Husky Sheldon Moser.
Elsewhere in the league, the Þrst-place Huskies remained undefeated in trouncing the last-place, winless Brandon Bobcats 5-1 and 6-5.
Next weekend, the Dinos face off against the defending champion University of Alberta Golden Bears. The series starts in Edmonton on Friday and returns to Calgary on Saturday. Alberta just finished tying Manitoba 2-2, and defeating them the next night 4-0.