Dinos hockey men set consecutive wins record by downing Cougars in Crowchild Classic
The Calgary Dinos’ timing has been spot on since the men’s hockey campaign puck drop.
So why not continue this trend on Friday night on a big stage?
With the acclaimed Crowchild Classic and a fan-heavy Scotiabank Saddledome to put the finishing touches on a historic Canada West streak, the Dinos edged cross-town rivals Mount Royal Cougars 4-2 to earn a record straight win at 18th place 11,083 fans.
“Really proud of the boys – this is a great moment for the program,” said Dinos head coach Mark Howell. “Winning 18 times in a row in our league is kind of surreal. That was long ago.”
More than four decades to be exact.
This year’s Cinderella team officially cemented their place in conference history, surpassing the winning streak set by Clare Drake’s Alberta Golden Bears during the 1978-79 season. The Dinos’ magic period began on October 14 when they came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat none other than the Cougars. Interestingly, MRU are also the latest team to defeat Calgary, winning 7-2 the night before the impressive run began.
“They bought in right away the next week (after the loss),” said Howell, who — as a player — won the 1992 national championship with the Golden Bears. “We talked about what we need to do and from that moment they accepted how hard they have to play and how hard they have to train. We probably trained harder off the ice than we did in our games. And I think as a result we were able to go through our games with a lot of energy.”
They did it again on Friday night, but it wasn’t easy.
The Cougars proved strong throughout the evening, particularly early on as they carried the game but were constantly repelled by the Dinos by Carl Tetachuk’s incredible goalkeeping performance.
Eventually, however, MRU caught him at 5:30 p.m. and hit over the glove on Riley Sawchuk’s long shot.
It remained 1-0 until a sudden explosion of goals early in the second period when three goals were scored in 110 seconds. First it was the Dinos, who connected it with a Jake Gricius one-timer to beat MRU goalie Shane Farkas. Then came Josh Tarzwell’s move to hit Tetachuk to give the Cougars the lead back. And finally, it was Colson Gengenbach with another one-timer who defeated Farkas for his first of three straight goals.
The biggest for the Dinos sniper came at 7:50 of the third period when he blasted home another puck and capped a three-assist night for teammate Riley Stotts, who made the first pass – with perfection – on all three nons – Calgary’s scored. empty targets.
Then Gengenbach capped his own evening with a third goal into the empty net to turn the hat-trick and seal the Dinos’ record-breaking contract.
“It was amazing — I haven’t done that in a long time, and my linemates really helped me and made it easy for me,” said Gengenbach, a sophomore from Edmonton. “A little nervous coming in… and a little shaky to start. I’ve never played (before) how many people that’s in a building. And we were nervous. If (Tetachuk) doesn’t make some of those saves in the first one, we weren’t there like we were – he really started us.
The end result is that remarkable mark that pushes the Dinos further forward in first place with a 20-3 record in the standings.
Despite the loss, Mount Royal remains third in the conference with a 16-4-3 mark.
“Feels great,” said Tetachuk, who finished with a whopping 46 saves while opposite Farkas stopped 31 pucks. “No doubt about the boys. We came out and worked hard in every practice. So the record was coming up – really excited.”
The only thing missing from the amazing night for U of C was the Dinos women failing to sweep the Dome doubleheader.