Trouble at the net

By Еvan Osentоn

Women’s Hockey – Kris Kotarski and Еvan Osentоn
The Dinos’ 1-14-1 regular season record leaves nothing to the imagination. That said, it is hard not to like this team. The lopsided losses that typified their season were never for a lack of hard-work. Blame any number of factors, but this team–primarily comprised of new players and second-year players–did their best under difficult circumstances.

Talent: C-
This year saw the young Dinos on the wrong end of losses to powerhouses like eventual-CIAU champion University of Regina and the University of Alberta. However, next year looks promising as there will be many key returnees with tough character-building years under their belts. Certain areas of the team are strong, especially goaltenders Tonya Young and Tiana Velestuk. Offensive spark plugs Jodie and Stacey Soren-sen (AKA Gino and Paul Cavalini) will continue to be good role models for Suzanne Hanchar and company. Really, the team just needs a bit more experience under their belt. Like the early ’90s NHL Nordiques, the talent is there, the desire is there–they just need to be patient.

Effort: A
You can’t complain here. Game in and game out, this team played their hearts out. It would have been easy for them to get discouraged (as the Gauntlet did, which they dutifully noted) but these players battled through adversity. All the teams’s deficiencies–puck handling, cycling, confidence–improved as the year went on. Their gutsy showing in the CIAU championships was a testament to their character.

Coaching: B+
Kudos to Head Coach Kathy Berg for convincing the Dinos they belonged at Nationals. It takes plenty of coaching ability to motivate a last-place team. The Dinos showed two signs of a well-coached squad: they never let up, and they played better and better as the year went on.

Performance: C-
It may seem a little harsh, but a
1-14-1 season is bad. While the positives of this team are there, they do not fall under the performance category.

Overall: C+
The team had their successes and their setbacks this season, but they were not as good as the other squads on campus. Women’s hockey had by far the worst record of any U of C team, but their effort put many others to shame. It’ll be interesting to see where this team ends up next season in the extremely tough Canada West conference.

Song they remind us of: "Six Underground" by the Sneaker Pimps. The sweet rhythm of this electonica anthem gives a surprisingly upbeat feel to a song about death.

Men’s Hockey – Kris Kotarski
Talent: B+
The Dinos have a great group of players capable of competing with any team in the CIAU. Colin Embley and Matt Holmes led the squad up front and provided all the stellar offence the team would ever need. Oh wait, that’s if the Dinos had good goaltending. Unfortunately, Calgary had trouble in net until rookie Aaron Baker settled in late in the year. Scott Rideout and Tyler Nilssen are talented, but were on-and-off throughout the first half of the season.

Effort: B
Early in the year the Dinos looked weak, but a losing streak right after Christmas woke them up and the team went on a rampage. Key wins against Lethbridge late in the year were full of hustle and the team looked great down the stretch. C for the first half and A for the second equals a B overall.

Coaching: A
Tim Bothwell is a sneaky man. His stunning illegal stick call in the first round of the Canada West playoffs was sheer brilliance, as was his wily play to hold speedster Scott Fukami near the bench so he could take a breakaway pass and score with 0:01 left in the period. Bothwell, whose experience and skill are great assets for the team, also brought in former NHL’er Joel Otto to add more depth to the coaching ranks. All in all, it’s hard to find a better coaching staff anywhere in the CIAU.

Performance: B
It sucks to be stuck in the same conference as the University of Alberta Golden Bears. The Dinos held their own against everyone this season, but could never topple their juggernaut rivals from the provincial capital.

Overall: B+
The Dinos had a solid second half to earn a solid grade. After Alberta’s humiliating chokefest at this year’s Nationals, there is plenty of hope for next year’s Dinos.

Song they remind me of: Either Beck’s "Loser" when they play Alberta, or Blur’s "Song 2" when they play anyone else.

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