By Еvan Osentоn
Announcing the winner of the first annual Pennzoil Positive-Spin-in-the-Face-of-Massive-Adversity Award: Dinos women’s hockey Head Coach Kathy Berg.
The Dinos are off to an unusually rocky start this year. While the team managed a split with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds over the Oct. 21 weekend, last week’s performances against the heretofore knock-kneed University of Lethbridge were far from great, even far from solid–a far cry from last year’s Dinos squad which fricasseed their opposition on a regular basis.
After a loss and a tie to Lethbridge, the Dinos record sits at a modest 1-4-1. But the affable Berg has an uncanny ability to remain positive despite the slow start.
"I think we’ve got some really dedicated athletes; we’ve got a great coaching staff," she said. "The girls are a great group; they come out and give absolutely 110 per cent. I think we’re going to be competitive this year."
On Fri., Oct. 27, in front of a sparse crowd at the Olympic Oval, Calgary played respectably but lost 4-0 to their backwoods rivals from Lethbridge.
"On Friday, we allowed way too many shots," said Berg. "We were too tentative. It’s just a matter of putting three good periods together in order to be successful."
The following night, the Dinos put forth a concerted effort and managed a 2-2 tie against the Pronghorns. Kerry Caffrey and Jill Percy scored their first goals of the year and the Sorensen sisters, Jodie and Stacey, continued their strong seasons with an assist each.
Berg is pleased with the progression of her players, nearly half of whom are playing their first year with the team.
"We have a really young group of athletes who aren’t necessarily used to a high level of play. We have nine new players, some of them have a year or two of experience, but we don’t have the five or six-year veterans [anymore]," said Berg.
The majority of the players on last year’s Dino roster were deemed ineligible to play for the Dinos this year by the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletics Union because of conflicts with their club teams. However, Berg said the players who did return are filling the gaps nicely.
"Andrea Wojcik, Jacealyn Car-riere, Nancy Scholz, they’ve been around for three years and they’re taking much more of a leadership role. They’ve really stepped up."
The Dinos will take their positive attitude and ox-like work ethic on the road to play the University of Saskatchewan next weekend. They’ll return home for two games against the Thunderbirds Nov. 17-18.