Monday, 18 December 2017

Goyette: The Alpha Dino

She was one of the greatest players to ever lace up the skates. She's both an IIHF Hall of Fame inductee and a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. She's a three-time Olympian, twice winning a gold medal and once winning a silver medal. She is still Canada's all-time leading scorer at the IIHF Women's World Championship. She's a CIS National Champinship-winning coach with the Calgary Dinos, and she's still crafting young minds and hockey players today! She's one of the greatest female hockey players of all-time, and she's still giving back to the game.

On last night's episode of Rogers Hometown Hockey, it was great to see another Canada West icon and program featured as Sportsnet spent a little time examining Danielle Goyette's career and legacy as she guides the University of Calgary Dinos as their head coach!
It's nice to see players such as Paige Michalenko and Kira Makuk get a little exposure on the video, but Goyette's success with the Dinos has been an up-and-down experience. She had great success when Hayley Wickenheiser was leading the charge for the Dinos, but has seen leaner times recently after having her Russian Olympians - Iya Gavrilova and Sasha Vafina - graduate out of the program.

In the last four seasons, the Dinos have compiled a 31-48-7-14 record. That includes a program-worst 4-19-1-4 record in the 2016-17 season, but hockey is cyclical when you have strong players graduate from the program. Calgary started slowly this season, but Goyette's squad is ferocious in the defensive zone this season as they've surrendered a conference-low 23 goals-against, and that effort has pushed them to a 6-8-1-1 record this season which has them positioned in a playoff spot at the moment.

Goyette's name, legacy, and experience do attract players to the University of Calgary, but the Dinos are in one of the most competitive provinces when it comes to recruiting players as there are four Canada West teams in Alberta alone. Add in the fact that UBC, Regina, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba scout players from Alberta as well, and the Dinos really need some success to help their program move back into the upper echelon of the Canada West Conference.

That being said, there are some standouts on the team who Goyette has certainly helped. Michalenko is one of those players as she has really developed into one of the steadiest defenders in Canada West. Forward Delaney Frey is a dangerous player whose scoring touch reminds me of Goyette's abilities. Goaltender Kelsey Roberts has been the big story as her efforts in terms of pitching shutouts have vaulted the Dinos up the Canada West standings.

Let's not forget that this Dinos team shutout Regina in two consecutive games already, went 3-1 against the Lethbridge Pronghorns, and lost to both UBC and Alberta in one-goal games. There's a ton of fight in this Dinos team, and the Dinos have enough time and games left to push both the Regina Cougars and Saskatchewan Huskies for fifth- or even fourth-place, respectively, if they continue to play as well as they did before the break.

And the mastermind behind the Dinos resurgence? None other than head coach Danielle Goyette whose team resembles the drive and determination of their head coach! I'm glad to see that her program and her career was highlighted this weekend!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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