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Calgary Dinos set Canada West win streak record at Crowchild Classic

OTTAWA, ON – It was exactly what the Calgary Dinos wanted — a Canada West record.

In the first edition of the Crowchild Classic in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, th Calgary Dinos defeated the MRU Cougars in a thrilling 4-2 contest to improve to 20-3-0 on the season and win their 18th consecutive game, which set the record for the most consecutive wins in Canada West history. 

Dinos’ forward Colson Gengenbach was the hero scoring a hattrick, forward Riley Stotts recorded three assists and Jake Gricius scored a goal and added two assists.

Gengenbach was proud of his team’s effort, rallying from behind to defeat a big rival and set an unprecedented win record.

“It feels so real, we have just been working every day and doing our stuff and this is [the result] you get,” he said.

Cougars control the opening frame

It took a while for the Dinos to get going offensively; the Cougars dominated the first period, spending most of it in the attacking zone, moving the puck well to open up the Dinos’ defence to create scoring chances. The Cougars outshot the Dinos 13-1 halfway through the first period and 21-8 after 20 minutes of play. The Dinos were consistently on their heels defensively. 

The Cougars’ defence also forced the Dinos’ offence to the outside and limited the chances they created from the slot and around the net. This led to turnovers in the defensive and neutral zone and the Cougars used their speed to attack in transition. 

(Calgary Dinos)

Dinos’ goaltender Carl Tetachuk was phenomenal in the win. He made 46 saves on 48 shots faced and stood on his head, making several world-class saves in multiple stages of the game including most of the first period to keep the game a scoreless tie, near the end of the second period and midway through the third period, all periods of time when the Cougars controlled the game and dominated offensively. 

After a sustained period of attack in the offensive zone, Cougars’ forward Riley Sawchuk finally broke the deadlock by scoring his 19th of the season with 2:20 left in the first period to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead after a huge save from Cougars’ goaltender Shane Farkas and excellent speed and through passes from Nolan Yaremko and Connor Bouchard led to a transition attack.

The Dinos’ best chance of the period was Connor Gutenberg hitting the post with a powerful wrist shot with 38 seconds left.

An action-packed second period

The Dinos have posted the best powerplay in Canada West, clicking at 27.1 percent this season. They got a chance early in the second period after Sawchuk was charged with a 10-minute misconduct for a hit to the head. The Dinos spent a lot of time in the offensive zone and created multiple scoring chances but couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage.

They sustained their momentum and offensive pressure in the attacking zone after the powerplay and Gricius buried it into the open net from the slot after he received a beautiful tape-to-tape pass from Stotts to tie the game 1-1.

The Cougars answered back exactly one minute later after forward Josh Tarzwell made a nice move to juke around a defender before putting it upstairs over the blocker of Tetachuk.

Exactly 50 seconds after the Cougars took the lead, Gengenbach scored the first of his three goals with a powerful accurate slapshot off a one-timer after crisp, accurate passes from Stotts and Gricius. 

Both teams exchanged chances throughout the second period using strong puck movement and their speed and their pristine, accurate long passes in transition. Both goalies were tested and had to make some huge saves to keep the game tied 2-2. 

In the later stages of the second period, the Cougars controlled possession n the attacking zone and put pressure on Dinos’ defence. The Cougars outshot the Dinos 36-26 after 40 minutes and had all the momentum after one.

Gengenbach takes over, seals the victory

The momentum quickly shifted in the Dinos’ favour early in the third period. The Dinos controlled the pace of the game and used their speed, creativity, and strong playmaking to open up the Cougars’ defence and create passing and shooting lanes.

The sustained pressure led to Gengenbach’s second goal of the game – also assisted by Stotts and Gricius – which gave the Dinos their first lead of the game nearly eight minutes into the third period. 

The Cougars got their first powerplay with eight minutes left and immediately began putting pressure on the Dinos’ defence generating several scoring chances, even hitting a post. Chances. The Dinos’ penalty kill unit – one of the best in the conference – stayed strong and Tetachuk made several huge saves to preserve his team’s one-goal lead. 

The Dino’s defence tightened up in the last five minutes, limiting the Cougars’ ability to move the puck and create scoring chances from close to the net to equalize. With two seconds left, Gengebach completed his hattrick with a tap-in empty net goal to seal the win. 

The Dinos visit the Cougars on Jan. 28, looking to extend their win streak to 19.

Gengenbach said its imperative to get off to a strong start after starting slow offensively tonight.

“We started slow but at the end of the day we got on them and kept going. Hopefully we bring that momentum into the game tomorrow,” he said.

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