Easy as tying shoes

By Sean Nyilassy

The Dinos men’s hockey team headed deep into Regina Jan. 14-15 to take on the University of Regina Cougars. With a 6-7-3 record going into the two-game series, the men hoped to break that oh-so-elusive .500 mark. Many goals were scored, many shots were saved, but the end result would please any elementary school teacher. The two teams were not divided into winners and losers.

Friday, the Dinos came out kicking, looking to improve their losing record. Alex Lalonde was warmed up early, putting one in the Cougar net during the third minute of the first period. Bracken Kearns decided to make it two, despite being short-handed, almost half-way into the period. Sitting comfortably on a lead, the Dinos got sloppy and let the Cougars into the early stages of a comeback with just 23 seconds left on the clock. Craig Strain of the Dinos took care of the straining situation by putting in a goal of his own just 13 seconds later, bringing the score to 3-1 at the first intermission.

The second period played out like a mechanical bull; the teams rode each other, but neither got anywhere. As the Dinos remained quiet through most of the third period, the Cougars came back to a 3-3 tie with 3:39 to play.

Dino Colin McRae managed to get the Dino lead back with less than two minutes left. Unfortunately, a one-goal lead proved not enough, with an extra man on, the Cougars tied the game at four with a scant 19 seconds left in the third.

With outstanding goaltending on both sides, the overtime period proved pointless. Over the game both tenders stopped 28 shots.

Saturday night’s game started out grimmer for the Dinos than the previous battle. The Cougars managed to hop ahead 2-0 with 14 minutes of the first period drained. Their first goal came in the dying seconds of a two-man advantage. Kearns was sent to the box for goaltender interference with Travis George joining him a mere five seconds later for high sticking.

Lalonde again decided to get things going for the Dinos off a pass from Shawn Landry with just under six minutes left to play in the first.

After letting one more squeak by in the first, Dinos goalkeeper Donald Choukalos gave his team a chance to catch up, stopping all the shots sent his way in the second. The Dinos capitalized on the opportunity with goals from Lonny Tetley and McRae.

McRae kept the momentum going with another tally in the first minute of the third period. With the score now 4-3 in the Dinos favor, the defense tightened up and kept the Cougars to a mere six shots in the third. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough and the Cougars evened the score forcing an overtime battle.

Despite the best efforts of both teams, the score remained at a standstill throughout the five-minute overtime. Hence, another tie was added to each team’s record. On a nicer note, the Dinos’ defense played strong all game, keeping the Cougars to 22 shots total.

The Dinos continue their quest for a winning record Jan. 21-22 against the University of Manitoba Bisons. Both games begin at 7 p.m. in the Father David Bauer Arena. Come watch the 12-5-3 Bisons match wits with our ferocious hockeysaurs.