Dinos chomping for first Canada West men’s hockey title since 1996

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The University of Calgary Dinos had a great regular season, winning a record 27 straight games, but as they say, the playoffs are a whole different season.

The Dinos dropped Game 1 of their quarter-final series against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, which left them on the brink of elimination in the best-of-three.

Fortunately, the Dinos were able to regroup and win the next two games, booking their ticket to the Canada West final and the Dr. W.G. Hardy trophy.

Head coach Mark Howell says that initial loss served as a reminder.

“We had done some great things in the regular season, but playoffs are different,” he told CTV News. “You know, I just think we needed a reminder to say hey, let’s get back to getting in the middle of it and the heart of the game and our guys did that in (those next two games).”


Now, it’s the Battle of Alberta, university-style.

The Dinos take on the defending Canada West champs, the University of Alberta Golden Bears, in the best-of-three Canada West title fight starting Friday night at the Father David Bauer Arena.

Forward Max Patterson says it doesn’t get any better than that for a final.

“Yeah, I don’t think it does,” said the 23-year-old.

“I think that’s what we’re looking forward to as well. The U of A has always been known as a great team in this league, so it will be sweet if we can pull off a couple of wins against them.”


The Dinos swept the Golden Bears in the regular season, winning both of the games they played against each other.

But Alberta knows how to win in the playoffs – they’ve captured 17 Canada West titles since 2000.

Defenceman Dakota Krebs knows they’re in for a big battle.

“I think just sticking to our game,” the 23-year-old said.

“I think, you know, they’re a fast team, but we’re a fast team, too. Just sticking to checking properly and bringing our best every single night and the rest will take care of itself.”


The good news is both of these teams are guaranteed a spot in the National Championships in Charlottetown, P.E.I., March 16-19.

But Howell admits his team really wants to win Canada West this weekend.

It’s the first time they’ve hosted since 1996, which just happens to be the last time they won it.

“On Day 1 of training camp, I had the guys turn around and look at the banner behind us,” Howell said.

“Unfortunately, 13 of those years are on my watch, so I would say we’re all a little bit motivated – I guess that’s the right word to make sure we can do something special this year.”

Canada West men’s hockey final schedule:

  •  Friday, March 3; U of A @ U of C; 7 p.m.; Father David Bauer Arena
  •  Saturday, March 4; U of A @ U of C; 7 p.m.; Father David Bauer Arena
  •  Sunday, March 5 (if necessary); U of A @ U of C; 7 p.m.; Father David Bauer Arena 

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