Women’s Hockey: Report card time

The University of Calgary women’s hockey program is like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation–both struggle through personnel cuts and abysmal funding levels. Should we then be surprised when the best the CBC can do is Pit Pony or Jonovision? Should we be surprised the Dinos staggered to a 1-8-1 record to close the first half of the season? Probably not.

Talent: C

There are still stars in the CBC talent pool–like the delightful Wendy Mesley–just as there are still stars shining brightly in the Dino red and white. Goaltenders Tanya Velesiuk and Tonya Young have shown flashes of brilliance despite recent Dino routs. Sisters Jodie and Stacey Sorensen have gone from role players on last year’s squad to offensive threats this time around. Veterans like Andrea "Mad-Dog" Wojcik, Jacealyn Carriere and Nancy Scholz provide stellar leadership to a team largely comprised of rookies. Suzanne Hanchar has shown flashes of superstardom. Yet, for all the positive attributes of this team, their potential remains largely untapped.

They’re young and hard-working, but these attributes can only take you so far. The Dinos are sitting at 13 goals for this year, 53 against. That’s a pretty definitive statistic. The talent is there, but it’ll take some time to develop.

Performance: C+

One win in 10 games makes this team by far the least successful Dino team on campus. However, with the exception of the series against the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan, they were close in every game, losing most by only one goal.

Effort: B+

If you were to fault the Dinos on anything this year, it wouldn’t be on their level of effort. This team puts in the same or greater effort as their opposition but their disadvantage in the talent department lets them down. Their work ethic has previously been described by this writer as "badger-like" and "ox-like"–to these I now add "Clydesdale-like."

Coaching: A

Kathy Berg is, by all accounts, an excellent coach. Besides, rarely can a coach be blamed for a team’s struggles when 12 of 18 players on the roster are in their first year.

Overall grade: B-

This is a young team, but I guarantee they’ll make it to nationals this year–they’re hosting the season-ending tournament at the Olympic Oval in early 2001. It would be nice if the lady Dinos could turn this season around and make it to nationals on their own merit, but nobody’s expecting a miracle. Keep an eye on this team next year.

Food this team reminds me of: Bread mould. Right now, they’re harmless–but give this team time and they’ll metamorphose into something truly fearsome.

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