CALGARY – Through 53 minutes on Sunday night at the Father David Bauer Arena, the No. 4 University of Calgary Dinos looked on their way to a huge funk-ending win over the No. 1-ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears. Three straight goals by the Golden Bears would silence the home crowd though as they earned a 5-4 win.
While the game didn’t mean anything in the standings, the Dinos were hoping to end the season on a high after struggling in recent weeks. Calgary seemed to be doing everything right to get their season back on track but faltered in the late stages as they gave up three unanswered goals. Ryan Harrison led the way for the Dinos with two goals while Jordan Hickmott, Brett Ferguson, Sean Ringrose and Levko Koper all had two-point nights for the road team.
Calgary finishes the season with a record of 21-4-3 as they limp into the playoffs. Alberta wraps up the 28-game schedule with a 24-2-1 mark.
Following a slow start where Alberta jumped out on the shot clock 8-1, Calgary scored the game’s first goal at the 9:33 mark of the first period. Dinos’ leading scorer Chris Collins skated into the Golden Bears’ zone on the left side. As he hit the corner, Collins throw the puck out in front where a pinching Alex Dzielski recorded his second goal of the year.
Seeking the sweep of their southern rival, the Golden Bears responded to tie the game at the 14:35 mark. Getting the Dinos stuck in their own end, Hickmott connected with Brett Ferguson with a cross-crease tally. The goal was the third-year forward’s 13th of the campaign.
Late in the period, Calgary capitalized on a couple of chances to take a two-goal lead into the first intermission. Adam Kambeitz got in on the play first and pressured the Alberta defence, allowing Taylor Stefishen to feed Elgin Pearce the puck alone in the slot. The rookie made no mistake as he ripped a shot past the glove of Luke Siemens for his second of the season.
With a buzzer beater with only 0.6 seconds left on the clock, Harrison netted his eighth of the year to complete a pretty passing play on the power play.
Alberta scored the lone goal of the second period at the 12:40 mark to pull within a goal. Catching Kris Lazaruk hanging to the right post, defenceman Jesse Craige snapped a shot to the far side for his fourth of the year.
Despite strong play from both sides, neither team managed a lot of shots in the middle frame as the Golden Bears outshot the Dinos 8-5.
Calgary began the third period well as Ryan Harrison scored his second of the game just under three minutes into the frame.
With under seven minutes to play, the Golden Bears rushed the Dinos and took the game over. On the power play, Ringrose cut the deficit to one before Hickmott wired his 16th of the season past Lazaruk.
Emotions got the better of the Calgary netminder as Lazaruk took a roughing penalty. Capitalizing on the mistake, the Golden Bears scored their fifth goal of the game for their first and only lead as Jamie Crooks picked up his 13th.
The Dinos pulled their netminder for an extra attacker in the late stages but they would not solve Siemens again as they fell for the fifth time in six games.
Calgary and Alberta ended the night each with 27 shots. The Dinos were 1-5 on the power play, while the Golden Bears went 2-3.
Both Alberta and Calgary have already earned a bye through the opening round of the Canada West playoffs. The teams will be back in action on Friday, Feb. 28 in their respective cities as they welcome an opponent to be determined next week.