Huskies Down Dinos in Season Opener

Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer Photography
Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer Photography

CALGARY - The Dinos season opener was spoiled by the University of Saskstachewan Huskies who pulled out a 6-5 overtime victory in a high scoring back and forth game on October 9 at the Max Bell Arena.

The Huskies took advantage of a cross checking penalty to Coda Gordon at the end of the third period when Saskatchewan forward Andrew Johnson capitalized on the 4 on 3 overtime powerplay.

"We were very inconsistent, we didn't have the focus or the discipline we need to win hockey games," said Dinos head coach, Mark Howell. "It's a tough league to win games in and when you're not focused and you're not disciplined with some of the penalties you take, you're not going to win hockey games."

After a slow start with few scoring chances in the first 10 minutes, the Dinos broke the game open when Spencer Edwards put the rebound off Dan Gibb's point shot past Huskies goaltender, Jordon Cooke. The Dinos added a power play goal late in the period when Chris Collins knocked down a shot from Max Ross and banked it in to give the Dinos a 2-0 lead after the first period.

A wild second period was dominated early by the Huskies as the Dinos ran into some penalty trouble. Two power play goals from Huskies' Stebner and Sofillas as well as an even strength tally from Levi Cable gave Saskatchewan a 3-2 lead 7:40 into the middle frame.

"We came out unfocused and undisciplined, when you're not focused on how you need to play and what you need to do you're going to take penalties," Howell explained. "I thought we ran around, we were late and because of that we tripped and hooked and took some penalties."

With 6:46 remaining in the second, Dinos captain Kevin King banked a shot from behind the net off Cooke to tie the game at 3. A miscommunication on the Dinos power play led to a short-handed breakaway goal for Huskies' forward, John Lawrence. Just 37 seconds later, the Dinos power play capitalized on a point shot from Busenius that Walchuk tipped past the Huskies netminder, bringing the game to a 4-4 tie heading into the final period of play.

Midway through the third period, Dinos forward Elgin Pearce beat Cooke with a wrist shot low stick side to give Calgary a 5-4 advantage.

However, with 1:05 remaining, McVeigh's centering pass from the corner found McFaull in front who put it past Dinos goaltender Steven Stanford to tie the game.

With the game headed to overtime, Coda Gordon took a penalty at the 20 minute mark of the third period, putting his team at a 4 on 3 disadvantage in the extra frame. Andrew Johnson's wrist shot from the slot beat Stanford 53 seconds into sudden death overtime to give the Huskies the victory.

"Consistency is not easy, that's what makes good players and good teams is they're consistent for the game. We've got a long way to go to work on that , staying focused and checked in to the situation, checked in to the period, checked in to the intermissions...we're letting ourselves lose focus on what needs to be done and when it needs to be done."

The Dinos look to improve on tonight's performance as they take on the Huskies again tomorrow afternoon, October 10 at the Max Bell Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. MT.