Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Hockey Show - Episode 321

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, gets back to basics tonight as Beans returns from his absence, we chat all about the hockey stories coming from across the globe, and we have general insanity on the show once more. It's been a crazy week for me this week as I've been touring the city a little in efforts to meet two remarkable people in former NHL netminder Curtis Joseph and celebrity hockey fan Jay Baruchel! Both men were incredible people in speaking with them, and the doors were left open for a possible future appearance on The Hockey Show! Chances are they'll have a ton happening and won't be able to swing it, but you never know unless you ask, right?

Beans and I will unpack all the stories from the past week and dive into the heart of the matters on tonight's show! Among the topics we'll cover will be the reduction in the suspension to Tom Wilson, Josh Morrissey's bodyslam on TJ Oshie and why he should get the same punishment as Florida's Mike Matheson, Gavin McHale becoming a household name for one night, Tristan Jarry scoring a goal, Gary Bettman's zero interest in expanding the playoffs, Tanner Pearson and Carl Hagelin switching teams and jerseys, Blake Wheeler finding his game while wearing a moustache, the Bisons facing UBC, and much more! It should be a busy show tonight, so make sure you have your radio dial set to 101.5 FM or your internet browser set to at 5:30pm CT!

You might be wondering where the blurb about the UMFM app has gone. I'm going on record to say you can still use it, but the new UMFM website will fill the needs of our listeners because the new online streaming player is pretty awesome. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store. The UMFM app will currently work for you, but there's some work being done to realign it with UMFM's new website, so it may go silent soon. If it does, TuneIn. It's a solid app.

I'm changing up the social media portion as well. I'm losing faith in Facebook, so that option will slowly be allowed to drift off into the horizon. However, the other options still work! Email all show questions and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! We're here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Beans look at suspensions, suspension-worthy plays, goalies, sticking with 16 teams, trades, players making a difference, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the web stream!

PODCAST: November 15, 2018: Episode 321

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Good Day For Goalies

It's Wednesday. It's Hump Day. It's November 14, but it's not a special day for most. I assume there are a swath of people in society who are celebrating a birthday or another special day, but the majority of the world didn't have anything remarkable to write home about regarding today. Well, hold on a second. There were a couple of people who had a very good day based on how the day went for them, and we need to talk a little about them due to their big days! Both men are goalies who have suited up in the NHL, but one guy had himself a great day in the AHL while another guy got to happily sit on the bench for the evening!

In an early AHL game as AHL teams invite school kids to the rink for the day, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were up 3-1 late in their game against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Being down late sent Springfield goalie Michael Hutchinson to the bench for an extra attacker as the Thunderbirds tried to erase the two-goal deficit. And that's when Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry decided to take matters into his own hands.
Announcer screams aside on that video, Tristan Jarry scored his first goal as a goaltender in his professional hockey career today! Jarry became the 14th goaltender in the AHL's 83-year history to record a goal, and the ninth goaltender to physically shoot the puck the length of the ice to score a goal! I'd say that's a pretty awesome day for Jarry, right?

The 14 goalies who have etched their names into the AHL record book for being recorded as a goal scorer include:
  • Darcy Wakaluk, Rochester – Dec. 5, 1987 at Utica
  • Paul Cohen, Springfield – Mar. 28, 1992 vs. Rochester
  • Robb Stauber, Rochester – Oct. 9, 1995 at Prince Edward Island
  • Christian Bronsard, Syracuse – Oct. 30, 1999 at Rochester
  • Jean-Francois Labbe, Hartford – Feb. 5, 2000 at Quebec
  • Chris Mason, Milwaukee – Oct. 15, 2001 at Utah
  • Antero Niittymaki, Philadelphia – Apr. 11, 2004 at Hershey*
  • Seamus Kotyk, Milwaukee – Apr. 17, 2005 at San Antonio
  • Drew MacIntyre, Manitoba – Feb. 20, 2008 at Chicago*
  • Chris Holt, Binghamton – Mar. 19, 2010 vs. Rochester
  • Reto Berra, Lake Erie – Jan. 16, 2015 at Chicago
  • Jonas Gustavsson, Bakersfield – Mar. 24, 2017 vs. San Diego
  • Alex Nedeljkovic, Charlotte – Mar. 10, 2018 vs. Hartford
  • Tristan Jarry, W-B/Scranton – Nov. 14, 2018 at Springfield
The two starred goals scored by Niittymaki and MacIntyre were overtime goals, but Jarry didn't need that today as his goal helped the Penguins win the game 5-1 over Springfield!

From that cool story, we move to another great story. Well, unless you're Braden Holtby who missed tonight's game for the Capitals against the Winnipeg Jets with an upper-body injury. But as they say, when one door closes, another opens, and tonight that door opened for a gentleman by the name of Gavin McHale!

Gavin is the Winnipeg Jets' emergency goalie, so he gets to watch a lot of Jets games for free while he waits for the tap on his shoulder. Normally, Gavin wouldn't see the ice whatsoever from the vantage point to the right, but with Holtby injured and unable to play, McHale was sent down to the Washington Capitals' room to suit up and back-up Pheonix Copley in tonight's game! Donning jersey #41, McHale was able to get into the warm-up, face guys like Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Oshie as they prepared for the game, and he can now claim he's part of the reigning Stanley Cup champions!
Ironically, the first shooter that McHale faced tonight in warm-up was none other than Alex Ovechkin. And Ovechkin ripped a shot past McHale. Welcome to the NHL, kid.

The 31 year-old netminder is a former Portage Terrier of the MJHL and played in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds, and he now works as a fitness coach when he's not on the ice training Lauren Taraschuk, Erin Fargey, and Devan Johnson of the Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team as their goaltending coach. McHale's been doing the emergency goalie thing for the Jets for a couple of seasons now, and his debut on national hockey in the US and Canada thanks to NBC and Sportsnet did not go unnoticed on social media!

Congratulations to Tristan Jarry for scoring his first goal, and Gavin McHale for blowing up the internet as a Washington Capital! Wednesday, November 14 was a pretty good day for goalies, it seems!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Make It Up As You Go

You may have heard, one day after the NHL issued a very light settlement with the players of the class-action lawsuit regarding head injuries, that the independent arbitrator looking into Tom Wilson's 20-game suspension following his check to the head of St. Louis' Oskar Sundqvist had reduced Wilson's suspension to 14 games, making him eligible to return to play today as well as restoring nearly $400,000 in salary to Wilson. That man, pictured to the left, is Shyam Das. He's the same man who reduced the suspension to Austin Watson following his domestic abuse allegation, and he was the same man fired by Major League Baseball shortly after overturning Ryan Braun's suspension after he was found to have used performance-enhancing drugs. It might be time for the NHL to look for another arbitrator after today's decision to reduce the 20 games to 14 games seems as arbitrary as pulling numbers from a lottery machine.

I have no words for the decision he came down with today, so I'll let Stephen Whyno tell you about how he came to the suspension-reducing decision.
I beg to differ on Das' opinion that the 20-game suspension "was not supported by substantial evidence". Pittsburgh's Zach Aston-Reese couldn't eat solid food all summer thanks to a broken jaw in last season's playoffs, Robert Thomas of the St. Louis Blues was the target of a late hit in the preseason, and Sammy Blais of the St. Louis Blues was driven into the boards by Wilson. All three instances drew suspensions, so the "substantial evidence" is clearly there. Or perhaps Das doesn't understand how suspensions work in the NHL.

I'm going with the latter.

In any case, Das then decided to impose his own mathematical equation in determining an appropriate suspension period with absolutely zero logic or reasoning behind the equation. As Whyno wrote in his tweet, Das "came to 14 for Wilson by treating 3-game playoff suspension as a 6-gamer, doubling it and adding 2 for Sundqvist injury." So, according to Das, the Aston-Reese hit counts as evidence, but the Thomas and Blais hits do not? Getting the double-credit for the playoff games is a good start, but why do the two games for Thomas not count and the four games for Blais not count? If you do the math, that's how the NHL came up with 20 games, so what evidence does Das provide that would negate the six games against the two Blues players?

None. Not one shred of evidence other than his personal feelings, apparently.

As per The Associated Press, Das was dismissed shortly following his overturning of Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs due to a technicality. They write,
Das decided in February to overturn the 50-game suspension of Braun for a positive drug test. Lawyers for the Milwaukee outfielder, the reigning NL MVP, argued that the collection procedures specified in baseball's drug agreement for the urine sample were not followed with Braun's sample last Oct. 1 because it was not immediately left at a Federal Express office.

The collector testified that because the sample was taken on a Saturday and could not have been shipped that day to the testing laboratory outside Montreal, he concluded the sample would be more secure at his home. He then took it to a FedEx office on the following Monday.

Baseball's drug agreement states that "absent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the same day they are collected."

Management loudly and publicly disagreed with his decision.
Baseball decided that Das' ruling on Braun's suspension was outside the realm of integrity of the game regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs and MLB's testing for them, and they relieved him of his duties within baseball in May 2012. While the lawyers for Braun may have been correct and Das was within his right as an arbitrator to reduce the suspension, Das seems to live in an alternate reality where his decisions can be attained through whatever means he deems important, and his decisions often undercut the integrity of the game and the league for whom he is working.

Reducing Wilson's suspension is garbage. He deserved the 20-game break for his repeated offences and his blatant disregard for both the rules of the game and safety of his colleagues in the NHLPA. While Capitals fans will be happy to get their high-priced power forward back, the NHL should be looking for a new arbitrator today after Das' ruling. His decision makes zero sense, he provides no evidence for reducing the suspension, and he completely disregards the suspensions assigned to Wilson for his garbage play in the preseason.

That's not how this process is supposed to work, and Das' track record of questionable decisions are bubbling to the surface. I guess if you don't have any hard evidence to prove that the suspension was overly harsh, you just make it up as you go along. At this point, I could be an arbitrator if all it takes is random math equations and ignoring previous incidents.

What a bunch of crap.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 12 November 2018

Steps Forward

On a day before Jayna Hefford will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, there was another major announcement that has, in my view, taken far too long to announce. This is not an indictment on the New York Islanders or MSG Networks in any way as their announcement shows serious progress, but the fact that this is major news seems like there's still an uphill battle being fought when it comes to putting smart, knowledgeable women in places of prominence regarding men's hockey. Let me be the first to say that MSG Networks has made an excellent personnel decision on this one.

Jennifer Botterill, three-time Olympic gold medalist, has agreed to join MSG Networks' coverage of the New York Islanders for the remainder of this season as a studio analyst, beginning with Tuesday night's game against the Canucks. She'll join AJ Mleczko, her former Harvard teammate, in the studio for approximately 20 games, as per Neil Best's Newsday story, and will be part of MSG Plus' coverage team alongside Shannon Hogan.

"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to join MSG Networks and the exceptional New York Islanders broadcast team," Botterill said in a statement. "It's a tremendous honor to be able to cover the Islanders, one of the NHL's iconic franchises, and work alongside the entire MSG Networks' Islanders family."

I, too, am thrilled for Jennifer as she has shown great insight and ability on broadcasts in the past on CBC, TSN, and Sportsnet, and I think she and Mleczko will bring a wealth of talent to the studio production for MSG Networks. This hiring is not only a good move when it comes to moving the needle in men's professional sports, but it shows that MSG Networks is interested in hiring the best analysts and people to make their broadcasts better regardless of gender.

"We are excited to have four-time Olympic medalist Jennifer Botterill join the MSG Networks family and bring her insightful analysis to our Islanders coverage this season," Jeff Filippi, MSG Networks Senior Vice President of Programming and Production and Executive Producer, made in a statement of his own. "Jennifer is an incredibly smart and dynamic broadcaster who will prove to be a perfect addition to our Islanders broadcast team."

As you may be aware, AJ Mleczko was in the broadcast booth for select Nashville Predators games last season where she was an analyst, so MSG Networks is putting together some of the best talent in the industry when it comes to female broadcasters. Having Botterill and Mleczko work side-by-side has me cheering not only for the two women, but for the Islanders going forward.

As you may be aware, all of the Manitoba Bisons women's hockey games have the play-by-play handled by former Bisons sniper Kyleigh Palmer, and there are things in the works to make our broadcasts even better with Kyleigh as the centerpiece of those future developments. As it stands, Kyleigh is the only female play-by-play broadcaster in Canada West this season, and UMFM and Bisons Sports are proud of the work she is doing. Make sure you tune in on UMFM or Canada West TV to hear her great calls this season!

Kudos to MSG Networks on getting one of the best in the business in Jennifer Botterill. That's a massive get when it comes to analysts, and I can't wait to hear her analyses on the Islanders!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

The Rundown - Week 5

We're back at it this week as hockey resumes in Canada West. Manitoba, after Concordia got off to a slow start, found itself as the top-ranked team in the nation once again despite not playing last week, but the Alberta Pandas and Montreal Carabins remain in the hunt with their strong play. Of course, the Canada West standings could be all messed up if a couple of teams pulled off upsets this week, so let's get into the action as four weeks remain prior to the December break. With 24 points up for grabs for each team before the exam break, who will grab the reins and lead the conference into the break? All of this will be answered on The Rundown!

ALBERTA at REGINA: If there was ever a time to be talking about an unstoppable force, the work that Alex Poznikoff and Autumn MacDougall are doing for the Alberta Pandas might be a perfect definition. These two talented forwards are 1-2 in scoring again this season, and they decided to run wild all over the Cougars on Friday night. The game started off with Alberta pressing and making life difficult for the Cougars while being stingy on the defensive side. Regina tried to keep up, but a late power-play was awarded to Alberta after Kaitlyn Crowe was whistled for tripping. On the ensuing power-play, Alex Poznikoff's initial shot was stopped by Jane Kish, but the rebound fell to Danielle Hardy who buried the puck behind Kish at 16:53 to give Alberta the first-period lead.

MacDougall and Poznikoff decided to put on a bit a passing display with linemate Kennedy Ganser in the second period, resulting in the Pandas' second goal of the game. Ganser was on the receiving end of the setup as she slid a puck past Kish to make it 2-0 at the 6:22 mark. Without stating the obvious, Alberta seemingly was in control through the first two periods in terms of possession time and offensive zone time, and that translated into a 16-5 advantage in shots and a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.

A turnover near the start of the period saw Poznikoff break in alone on Kish and dent twine behind her at 3:48 to make it 3-0, and MacDougall fired a wrist shot home off a Poznikoff feed at 5:34 to make it 4-0 for Alberta. While Regina brought everything they could to the ice in the third period in terms of shots, rebounds were smothered or cleared away in front of Dayna Owen as she held the fort in a 4-0 Pandas victory on a night where Poznkioff collected four points while MacDougall had three. Owen stopped all 15 shots for her third win and second shutout of the season while Kish stopped 20 shots in the loss.

ALBERTA at REGINA: After Alberta stymied all of Regina's attack one night earlier, could the Cougars bounce back and give the Pandas fits? In a much more even first period, the Cougars went step-for-step with the Pandas. Chances were had by both sides, but Alberta's Halle Oswald and Regina's Morgan Baker were perfect through 20 minutes with Regina holding a 6-4 edge in shots.

And then the wheels fell off. With Shaelyn Vallotton still sitting in the penalty box from a late tripping call in the first period, Alberta's Autumn MacDougall fired home a shot that caromed off a body to her in the right circle just 39 seconds into the middle frame for the 1-0 lead. Eight minutes later, Alex Poznikoff got back in on the scoring as she picked up a loose puck off a dump-in by the Pandas and fired a backhander at the net. Baker kicked the backhander aside, but the rebound went to Kennedy Ganser and she buried it past Baker at 8:25 to make it a 2-0 Pandas lead. Late in the period, that Poznikoff-MacDougall duo went in on a two-on-one with Poznikoff feeding MacDougall a gorgeous pass that she converted easily at 16:53, and the Pandas took a 3-0 lead to the second intermission.

The third period went much the same way the second period did. Cayle Dillon's point shot took a funny hop to get over Baker's pad and into the net at 7:56 while Kiara Machry hit an empty net at 18:31 to give Alberta the 5-0 victory. Halle Oswald recorded her second win and second shutout of the season in stopping all 14 shots she faced while Morgan Baker suffered the loss in this one.

LETHBRIDGE at MANITOBA: This one started off seemingly fine before the bottom fell out for one team. Sheridan Oswald tipped an Erica Rieder shot past Alicia Anderson at 4:45 to put the home side up early, but the tides began to turn as the period progressed with Manitoba carrying more of possession play and outshooting Lethbridge 8-3 in the frame.

And then things just went south for Lethbridge in the final 30 minutes of this game. Erin Kucheravy scored at 10:29 before Alison Sexton put on a bit of a clinic in splitting a pair of forwards to set up a three-on-two where she kept while skating towards the left face-off dot before zipping a wrist shot inside the far post on a great individual effort to make it 3-0 at 16:29. Sexton wasn't done, though, as she converted a rebound kicked into the slot by Anderson off a perfectly-placed shot by Karissa Kirkup to force the rebound, and Manitoba had a 4-0 lead through two periods.

The third period was the Jordy Zacharias show as she set the conference record for the fastest hat trick! She scored on a shorthanded breakaway at 2:44, added a second goal as she finished off a Sheridan Oswald pass on a two-on-one at 8:37 that ended Anderson's evening in the blue paint, and then chipped in the hat-trick goal past Jessica Lohues at 9:22 to make it 7-0 for Manitoba! Sheridan Oswald added an eighth Manitoba goal at 13:04 to put the cap on the scoring as the Bisons skated past the Pronghorns by an 8-0 margin. Lauren Taraschuk was tested a few times, but denied all 12 shots she faced for her sixth win and first shutout of the season. Alicia Anderson suffered the loss in making 18 stops on 24 attempts. Jessica Lohues made three stops on five shots in her 11:23 of relief work.

As a note, the Zacharias hat trick in 6:38 broke the record held by Saskatchewan's Shelby Davey of 9:17. Shelby set her mark against UBC back on February 11, 2012 in a 9-2 rout of the Thunderbirds, but there's a new mark for players to aim for as Jordy Zacharias adds her name to the record books! Congratulations, Jordy!

LETHBRIDGE at MANITOBA: It was expected that Lethbridge would respond in a big way on Saturday following the hammering they took at the hands of the Bisons one night earlier. Would it be hard to believe that the Pronghorns would open the scoring? That's exactly what happened as Kyra Greig's shot went to the left of Devan Johnson, but it hit Alli Borrow's skate and ended up at the top of the crease where Brett Campbell was standing. Moments later, the puck as in the Manitoba net, Campbell was celebrating, and the Pronghorns led this game 1-0 on her power-play at 9:33 of the first period. Minutes later on a power-play of their own, it appeared that Natasha Kostenko's wrap-around attempt flipped up and over Jessica Lohues' left pad and ended up in the net, but the official scorers somehow awarded this goal to Jenai Buchanan. You be the judge.
Regardless of who scored, Manitoba had tied the game 1-1, and the two teams would still knotted up at that score through the rest of the period.

The first period was a physical one with many hits and five minor penalties handed out, and the fun continued in the second period as the physicality remained high. Four minor penalties would be called, but neither team was successful on their power-play attempts in this period, so we'd move to the third period to find a resolution to this 1-1 game.

Both teams settled in to play a little hockey in the third period with chances at either end, but it would be Manitoba who broke the stalemate late. Émilie Massé chipped a puck in deep, and Madison Cole recovered it and centered a pass that was corraled by Erin Kucheravy who went high on the far side on Lohues.
Kucheravy's second of the weekend at 15:15 put Manitoba up 2-1, and Lethbridge had to press if they wanted any chance at points this weekend. However, that would be all for naught as the most dangerous Bison versus the Pronghorns in the last two seasons struck once again for the Bisons.
Jordy Zacharias struck again on the backhand after dangling a defender out of her skates, and the Bisons led 3-1 at 16:15. Lohues would head to the bench a short time later, and Manitoba's Lauryn keen would ice it with an empty-netter at 17:46 as the Manitoba Bisons earn a 4-1 victory over the Lethbridge Pronghorns! Devan Johnson picked up her first U SPORTS win in her first U SPORTS start in stopping 11 of 12 shots while Jessica Lohues took the loss despite making 36 saves on this night.

UBC at SASKATCHEWAN: Two of the favorites to win Canada West met in Saskatoon on Friday as the Thunderbirds visited the Huskies. In a surprise, Saskatchewan started rookie Camryn Drever over Jessica Vance while UBC went with Amelia Boughn. Would this decision come back to haunt them?

UBC had some excellent chances in the first period, but between Drever and the posts there were no goals scored by the Thunderbirds. At the other end, the chances weren't as glorious, but the Huskies put together a solid period of pressure thanks to a pair of power-play opportunities. The score would remain 0-0, though, as both Boughn and Drever did their parts despite UBC holding a 9-8 edge in shots.

The second period started with an Amelia Boughn save off a Chloe Smith breakaway, and that seemed to energize the Thunderbirds as they opened the scoring off the strength of that save. UBC came back down the ice, and Brie Bellerive's wrist shot found room past a screen and Camryn Drever to put the T-Birds up 1-0 at 4:58! That score seemed to spark the Huskies because they came back two minutes later when Shyan Elias fed Bailee Bourassa in front of Boughn, and she snapped a shot past Boughn at 7:13 to square the game at 1-1! The Thunderbirds would reclaim the lead late, though, as Hannah Clayton-Carroll found Emily Costales with a pass, and Costales drop-passed the puck to Mathea Fischer who went high glove-side on Drever at 18:08 to send the T-Birds to the intermission with the 2-1 lead!

Chloe Smith turned on the skill and speed as she went end-to-end on a rush during an early power-play, and she zipped a shot past Boughn at 5:09 to make it a 2-2 game! The two teams traded chances throughout the period with both netminders coming up big, but it would be UBC who would jump ahead with five minutes to play. Ashley McFadden sent Emily Costales in alone on Drever, and she went bar-down on the netminder to make it 3-2 at the 15:38 mark! But Saskatchewan was far from done as Abby Shirley scooped up a loose puck and found Shyan Elias with the pass, and Elias' shot while shorthanded got past Boughn to make it 3-3 at 18:21! The final horn would sound with no winner, so we were off to extra time!

The first overtime period was exciting, but nothing happened with regards to the score so it was off to the six-player overtime period. It would be here where Kayla Kirwan found some room as she broke into the UBC zone and slipped the puck past Boughn at 2:20 of the fifth period for the 4-3 Saskatchewan double-overtime victory! Camryn Drever made 32 stops for her second victory of her career while Amelia Boughn made 20 stops in the overtime loss.

Yes, I will always post a Saskatchewan goal scorer on these recaps because I love that Saskatchewan did this.

UBC at SASKATCHEWAN: The rematch went Saturday with UBC needing a regulation win to keep pace with the Huskies. Saskatchewan was looking to extend their winning streak, so it was no surprise that UBC went with Tory Micklash while Saskatchewan responded with Jessica Vance.

It would Saskatchewan who struck first in this one as Kayla Kirwan kept her strong weekend going with a blast from the point while on an early power-play that found the twine behind Micklash to put the Huskies up 1-0 just 7:00 in. However, the T-Birds roared right back as Hannah Koroll found the puck in a scramble in front of Vance and went upstairs with a wrist shot on the netminder at 9:38 to even the score at 1-1. The teams would trade chances in the latter half of the period, but we'd go to the intermission knotted up at a goal apiece.

And we'd stay that way through the second and third periods as the two netminders went save for save as they stared down shooters. You know what that means - more overtime! Both teams had chances and it seemed like we might be headed for more three-on-three, but the T-Birds would end this game with less than ten seconds to play in the first overtime period. Hannah Clayton-Carroll found the puck in a mad scramble in front of Vance as she was down on the ice, and she poked the puck across the goal line from her knees at 4:53 as she celebrated victory in helping UBC win this game by a 2-1 overtime score! Tory Micklash stopped 28 shots for her fourth win of the season while Jessica Vance suffered a rare loss despite making 30 saves on the night.

She didn't score the winner, but Shyan Elias has a solid GIF game.

MOUNT ROYAL at CALGARY: The battle of Calgary took place this weekend with a home-and-home series between the two Calgary-based clubs as part of the Crowchild Classic. The first game was hosted by the Dinos as they welcomed the Cougars to Father David Bauer Arena. And the home side hit the scoreboard first as Paige Michalenko snapped the scoreless drought by the Dinos with her long shot from the point.
That scoreless drought for Calgary lasted some 272:18 of play for the Dinos with their last goal coming off the stick of Sara Craven at 14:19 of the second period against Saskatchewan way back on October 13. Calling that a "big goal" may not even scratch the surface on how big it was. It nearly held as the only goal of the period if it weren't for a late power-play for Mount Royal. The Cougars would even the score before the end of the period when Breanne Trotter fired a laser wrist shot high on Kelsey Roberts while on the power-play at 17:57, and the teams would go into the intermission tied 1-1.

The power-play would benefit the Cougars in the second period as well. Midway through the frame, Nicolette Seper set up the give-and-go with Daria O'Neill, allowing Seper to zip a wrist shot past Roberts at 10:31 to put Mount Royal out in front by a 2-1 score. The Dinos would respond, though, as Delaney Frey does the work and Rachel Paul gets the benefit as she beats Zoe De Beauville.
That goal at 16:43 tied the game at 2-2, and we'd head to the third period with that score intact.

In the third period, the teams were a little more cautious than they had previously played, but it would Calgary who jumped ahead midway through the period. Rachel Paul walked out of the corner with the puck and put an innocent backhand shot on net, and it somehow eluded De Beauville.
I'm not sure how that puck got by De Beauville, but the Calgary Dinos took the lead on Paul's second of the game at 10:59. The Cougars, needing a goal, mounted some furious offensive sequences in the final nine minutes, but Kelsey Roberts stood tall in the Dinos' net to preserve the victory as Calgary wins their first game of the season by a 3-2 score! Roberts earned the victory with a 37-save effort while Zoe De Beauville took the loss on a night where she made 24 stops.

CALGARY at MOUNT ROYAL: The second half of this Crowchild Classic weekend went at Flames Community Arena as the Cougars hosted the Dinos on Saturday. The ice seemed tilted against the home side with three penalties called on the Cougars in the first period, but Mount Royal held tough and kept the Dinos at bay. Calgary held a significant 10-4 edge in shots, but the 0-0 score held firm as both Mount Royal's Zoe De Beauville and Calgary's Kelsey Roberts squared off for the second consecutive night.

It would be on Mount Royal's third power-play where we'd see our first goal as the Cougars added another power-play goal to their season's total. Breanne Trotter potted her second goal of the weekend in beating Roberts at 13:02, putting Mount Royal up 1-0. The Dinos weren't content to go into the third period down a goal, so they turned to their fantastic rookie in Elizabeth Lang whose shot eluded De Beauville at 19:08 as the Dinos made it a 1-1 game through 40 minutes of play.

The third period saw both teams throw caution to the wind as there were all sorts of scrambles and battles in front of the nets and goaltenders, but no goals were found until late in the period. Tatum Amy swept a puck past Kelsey Roberts at the 14:33 mark, and the home side was up 2-1! The push for goals from both sides continued, and Calgary added some extra heat as Roberts went to the bench for the extra attacker with 1:14 to play, but neither side could find another marker as the Cougars took the second game by the 2-1 score! De Beauville picked up her third win of the season after making 27 stops while Roberts made 17 stops in the loss.

School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
23 28 7
vs LET
23 32 12
19 16 12
vs MRU
British Columbia
18 23 15
vs MAN
13 18 27
10 13 24
Mount Royal
10 14 27
4 8 28
vs REG

The Last Word

There's something to be said for the Calgary Dinos when it comes to not scoring goals.

Look, I like the Dinos. I think they have the talent to be a team that competes for a playoff spot, and I'm not sure why they seem to be the team that annually treats their fans to weeks or months at a time without scoring a goal.

Last season, the Dinos went 410:25 without scoring a goal, and they put up another 272:18 this season without denting twine. That's 11 games and a period in the last 38 games where they've failed to score despite having some solid talent. I don't have any explanation for this phenomenon, but when the Dinos, as a team, have only scored 30 goals in 38 games over the last two seasons, something has to give when it comes to their anemic offence.

In comparison, the Bisons have already scored 32 goals this season in 10 games. Lethbridge, who finished in last-place last season, scored ten more goals than the Dinos all season long. The Dinos, in their own right, scored 42 goals in 2016-17, so it's not like they've been this impotent in the offensive zone for a long time. There just seems to be something not right when it comes to how the offence is rolling over the last 38 games.

I do know that Elizabeth Lang might be the scorer that Calgary has been searching for as her four goals accounts for half the team's offensive output right now. Lang had a strong series against Manitoba in the opening weekend, and I was very impressed with her play. If the Dinos can get a few more players stepping up - Chelsea Court, Annaliese Meier, Delaney Frey - they can be a dangerous team. All three of those players have the ability to score a lot of goals, but they just don't. Why? I'm not sure.

Maybe it's a coaching issue or a systemic issue or a combination of the two, but no one has this much bad "puck luck" when it comes to the lack of scoring that the Dinos possess. We saw them score four goals this weekend against Mount Royal - statistically, the worst defensive team next to Calgary - and maybe that's the panacea that they need to get off this lack of goal-scoring. They'll play a Regina team who has given up as many goals as Mount Royal this season - one less than Calgary - so there might be a pile of goals on the horizon yet.

Whatever the case may be, we need a stronger Dinos team in Canada West to really make playoff races interesting. If the same six teams continually make the playoffs, it's not as much fun when all eight teams are in the hunt right through until February. Let's go, Dinos!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!