Neither the University of Saskatchewan Huskies nor the University of Calgary Dinos displayed its best stuff on Saturday night as the men’s hockey dogs skated to a 3-2 victory at Merlis Belsher Place in a subdued game compared to Friday’s action.
Twenty four hours after a game that went end-to-end all night and dazzled fans with goals, flashy saves and shootout drama, The Dinos and Huskies seemed to have little energy left to wow fans for a second consecutive night.
“It was a weird game,” Huskies head coach Dave Adolph said. “It was way different than last night. It was a calm, everything was defensive and poised.”
“I thought the last thirty minutes we played great.”
After the Dinos scored on one of six first period shots, the tempo picked up in the second period as the Huskies slowly took control of the game.
Dinos goaltender Matthew Greenfield— starting in place of Jordan Papirny — was beat after some quick puck movement on the powerplay to even up the game at 1-1 going into the second intermission.
“Our powerplay was humming right along at 5.5 per cent going into tonight,” Adolph quipped at his inopportune powerplay after the game. “So we got one tonight. That’s good.”
Both teams began to show their desperation in the third period as the Huskies began to put a stranglehold on the game.
Huskies forward Collin Shirley gave his team the lead with a diving effort across the mouth of the goal after wrestling the puck away from a Dinos defender in the corner.
Less than two minutes later, it was Donovan Neuls sneaking a short-side shot from below the faceoff dot past Greenfield for the insurance marker.
The game ended rather nervously for the Huskies. After finding themselves in penalty trouble in the final minutes, Huskies goaltender Taran Kozun couldn’t convince referees of a too many men on the ice penalty after seven Dinos skaters took to the ice when the goaltender was pulled.
The Dinos scored on a powerplay late, but were unable to find the tying goal.
“For us, it was maybe learning to stay a bit composed in that situation,” Shirley said following the game. “We were excited and wanted the win pretty bad.”
“In a situation like that, you want to take a breath and take a step back and just focus on what needs to be done.”
Shirley capped a dream debut at Merlis Belsher Place with two goals and the shootout winner over the weekend.
Carson Stadnyk had two assists in the Huskies win.
Tim Vanstone and Josh Uhrich scored for the Dinos.
The Huskies will return to Merlis Belsher Place on Friday, when they host the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns.