Cinderella Dinos slay Griffins

By Lawrence Bailey

They aren’t comparing themselves to the 1991 Minnesota North Stars or the 2003 Anaheim Mighty Ducks, but anyone on the outside looking in can’t help but see the same never-say-die attitude.

The Dinos women’s hockey team snuck into the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference playoffs by the skin of their teeth, a mere two points separating them from the fifth place NAIT Ookpiks.

Their reward? A date with the 16-1-2-1 Grant MacEwan College Griffins, a perennial ACAC powerhouse.

The result? A stunning upset, with the Dinos bouncing back from a 3-0 defeat in Edmonton Fri., Feb. 20 to post back-to-back victories and send the Griffins home licking their wounds. The resilient Dinos topped Grant MacEwen 4-3 in double overtime at home Sat., Feb. 21 and 5-4 in quadruple overtime the following night in Edmonton.

“We had nothing to lose,” said Dinos Head Coach Julie Healy. “You can never underestimate the power of intangibles.”

Nor can you underestimate the Dinos lone ACAC First-Team All Star, goalie Tonya Young. Young was the talk of the weekend, stopping 185 of 195 shots over the three games, including a penalty shot in the second overtime of Saturday’s tilt.

“It all happened so quickly,” said Young of the rare sudden-death penalty shot. “In the end, I wasn’t ready to be done, I didn’t want our season to end. It was still nerve-wracking to see her bearing down on me, though.”

The Dinos now face the Mount Royal College Cougars in a two weekend, best of five battle for ACAC bragging rights. Win or lose, Healy is proud of her team.

“We don’t have an easy go of it,” she explained, referring to three 6:30 a.m. practices weekly. “I’m really happy for the team–happy all the time, energy and commitment is paying off.”

Hopefully the Cinderella Dinos can avoid the unfortunate fate of the aforementioned North Stars and Mighty Ducks by beating the Cougars and completing their fairy tale run.