By Ryan Laverty
Two years after the fact, this Dinos squad is still feeling the ravaging effects of a Canada West rule prohibiting AAA players from also playing university hockey. The majority of the team is made up of former ringette players, a game played on ice, but a far cry from hockey. The goaltending is strong, but then when you face over 50 shots a game it’d have to be wouldn’t it?
It would be nice to say that what this team lacks in talent they make up for in effort, but the reality is the AAA Flames could try as hard as they could and they’d still never beat the NHL Flames. With that said this team never gave up on itself. When they were down three, four and five goals, they kept skating like the game was tied. And if it was tied, they played as if it meant their playoff lives.
Kathy Berg has done a formidable job given the situation the program is currently in. She remembers the good times-and no doubt longs for them-but, she is content to make the best of the team she has. Staying positive after a 9–2 drubbing to U of A would seem like an impossibility, but Berg points to the signs of improvement not the scoreboard defeats. An important attitude for a losing team to see.
This team gave their all and came up just a hair short in the race for the final playoff spot. It was a far cry from their stacked teams of the past, but a huge improvement when you look at last year.
It may seem unfair to judge one team by a different standard than the rest of the university squads, but really it’s more like evening the odds. Not to keep using it as a crutch, but the women’s hockey team was stripped of their top talent-three of whom won gold medals in Salt Lake City-two years ago and since then they’ve been at a noticeable disadvantage in their league. Calgary is the hotbed of Canadian women’s hockey and when players come here they come either for the national team, the Oval Extreme AAA team, or both. They simply don’t come to play for the Dinos. Given that fact it, one must put greater weight on such things as team unity, effort and coaching. And there’s no denying this team had fantastic amounts of those qualities.
Pro Wrestler they remind me of: Mick Foley. He’s likable and glutton for punishment. He takes a beating and keeps right on smiling.