The second installment of the Crowchild Classic at the Scotiabank Saddledome between the University of Calgary Dinos and Mount Royal Cougars women’s hockey teams proved to be an exciting one. The Dinos took the game 4–1, securing a playoff spot in the process.
Fourth-year forward Janelle Parent was thrilled to be playing in the Saddledome in front of a large crowd — not a common occurrence for the team.
“Playing in front of this big crowd, it’s kind of nice,” said Parent, who finished the game with one goal and three assists. “We never get this many people out at the regular games. It’s loud. It’s energetic. You always have a little more energy going out on the ice. It definitely helps you out throughout the whole game.”
Preparation for the big showcase game was not any different for Parent. “You got to prepare for every game the exact same. It doesn’t matter who is watching,” said Parent.
Both teams came out sluggish in the first period, generating few scoring chances. The goalies were the ones who had the most action in the opening frame, as Dinos goaltender Amanda Tapp made several key saves, stopping eight shots. The Dinos could only muster three shots on Cougars puck-stopper Jess Ross.
The second period was a different story as both teams started to open the game up and create chances. The Dinos capitalized early on as first-year Hungarian defender Kitti Trencsenyi took advantage of a turnover at the blueline and scored the first goal for the Dinos. Tapp continued to come up big, making key stops early on as Mount Royal continued to get shots on the net. Six minutes into the frame, the Cougars got one on the Dinos, as the game’s third star Kacy Smith fired from the blueline to tie the game at one. The shots were 15–9 Dinos after the second period.
In the third period the Dinos had a textbook start, getting a fantastic individual effort from forward Parent as she gave the Dinos their first lead of the game just 36 seconds in. Just five minutes later the Dinos capitalized again — Stephanie Zvonkovic wired the puck past Ross to make the score 3-1 Dinos. Forward Jenna Smith capped the scoring with an empty net goal.
For the Dinos, the Crowchild Classic was meaningful in terms of playoff implications, as the win solidified their post-season berth.
“We had a little bit of a slow start but in order to get the win we knew we needed to step up and really lay it all out on the line, and that’s what we did tonight,” said Parent. “It was good to get those two points.”
The victory meant a lot to a young team who has battled in the trenches for most of the season and with their exceptional effort in the third period, it showed.
“We have a younger team this year, so the older players and the players that have played in the league this year have to take that responsibility,” said Parent. “They have to set the tone out there and the first-year players and everyone else will follow. Everyone will lead in their own way.”