By Mike Flach
Try running with your pants down. You’ll notice immediately that pavement doesn’t taste good, and you’ll also notice that by the time you get up, that beautiful boy or girl you were chasing is far, far away. You’re behind from the start and bitter disappointment ensues. If you try this, you could feel like the Dinos men’s hockey team did this weekend after dropping two games to the University of Alberta Golden Bears, 4-1 and 5-3.
"You’re never happy losing two games, that’s for sure," commented head coach Tim Bothwell. "I thought Saturday night our effort was better, although it was really like the last two periods we played a better, more energetic and committed game."
Getting down early in the first period was the story of the weekend for the Dinos. The early lack of intensity was a major factor in the game.
"That’s never a good way to start a game and never a good way to start a game against a good team," said Bothwell.
The Dinos never had a chance to recover either night. Friday was a flop, as the Dinos had fewer shots every period and failed to capitalize on six Golden Bear penalties. Matt Holmes netted Calgary’s only goal at 15:23 of the second period to make the game 3-1. The team did, however, manage some effective killing on the team’s three penalties Friday night. Saturday was much the same story, with the penalty-killers allowing only one goal.
"We did a pretty good job killing penalties on the weekend," said Bothwell. "On one powerplay, they only had one shot, the only bad part was one was a breakaway and the other was a goal."
Mental breakdowns in the Dinos’ end allowed the Bears to make the most of their opportunities. Golden Bear Jonathan Zukiwsky scored their only power play goal while sitting all by his lonesome in front of the net. Goaltender Scott Rideout didn’t have a chance. Besides the odd lapse, Bothwell returned to penalty killing as the bright spot in the dark pit that was the weekend.
"Penalty killing has been very good to this point, we’re pleased with that," we said. "We won the special teams battle. That’s one of the goals in every game is beating every team on special teams."
Saturday was generally better, but the slow start again hindered the team until they picked up their pants in the second. Of course, by that time, it was, again, too late.
"The scoring chances were pretty even Saturday night. It was a chance for us to win a game against a good team." commented Bothwell. "We really wasted a tremendous goaltending performance by [Rideout]."
Rideout stopped four breakaways and faced a whopping 36 shots.
"The positive thing on the weekend is they are arguably one of the top two teams in this league." said Bothwell. "For two periods on Saturday we played right with them and were hanging in there."
The Dino’s square off against Regina this weekend. They will need to come out flying in the first in order to register some wins.
"It’s a weekend where we feel like we should and need to win two games," said Bothwell. "Its not going to be easy, they have a history of working really hard at home."