Max Sturley; Dinos Commumnications
CALGARY – Five different players found the back of the net for the University of Calgary Dinos as they picked up a 5-1 series-opening win over the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Friday night at the Father David Bauer Arena.
The Dinos now lead the best-of-three Canada West Quarter-Final series and will have a chance to close it out on Saturday with Game 2 scheduled for 6 p.m. in Calgary.
"That's one of the strengths of our team is the depth we have," said forward Bradley Schoonbaert on his team's scoring depth.
"Anyone can score on any given night, so it's certainly nice to have that many scoring threats."
The Pronghorns, despite managing only two shots in the first period, tested Dinos goaltender Matt Greenfield with a quality chance coming from the Maxwell tandem. Russell Maxwell one-touched a cross-ice pass to Brooks Maxwell, who broke in clean and went to the backhand. Greenfield read the play all the way, shutting down the Pronghorns' best scoring chance of the first with the right pad.
On the only power play of the first period, the Dinos eventually found their stride, opening the scoring late in the advantage. Mitch Cook collected a cross-ice pass and fired a low shot on Pronghorns netminder Garrett Hughson. A juicy rebound landed right on the stick of Schoonbaert who buried the puck into the yawning cage.
"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and I just banged it in," said Schoonbaert on his first goal of the playoffs.
It was a busy opening period for Hughson, who faced 16 shots, compared to only two by Greenfield.
The Dinos extended their lead in the opening minutes of the second period. Matt Alfaro took a tape-to-tape stretch pass from Dylan Busenius and fired a perfect wrist shot post and in past Hughson on the glove side.
Shortly later Logan Fisher capped off a dominant shift with another Dinos goal. Fisher's linemate Cook carried the puck around the Lethbridge zone before setting up Fisher on the backhand. The first chance was stopped by Hughson, but Fisher responded with a bomb of a slapshot from 10 feet out, roofing the puck over Hughson making it 3-0.
The Dinos continued the onslaught, creating a high volume of scoring chances in search of their fourth goal. The fourth goal of the game came in the dying seconds of the frame but was scored by the Pronghorns.
Following a lengthy shift in the defensive zone, the Pronghorns pushed the puck up the ice in an odd-man rush. The 3-on-2 rush was capped off by Spenser Jensen, as he ripped a shot off the post, where it hit the back of Greenfield before trickling into the net with just 3.6 seconds to go in the second.
Starting the third, the Pronghorns were gifted another early man advantage to cut into the deficit but were kept at bay by the Dinos penalty kill. The Pronghorns went scoreless on five power play opportunities.
Halfway through the third period, the Dinos regular season scoring leader Riley Sheen stepped out of the penalty box and quickly drew a penalty shot. Sheen tried to finesse the puck through the legs of Hughson, but was denied by the paddle, keeping the score at 3-1.
Tensions started to spill late in the third period before Chris Rauckman cashed in with an empty net goal putting the game out of reach. Sheen would redeem his missed penalty shot moments later in the final minute, scoring a late power play marker to make it 5-1.
Photo by David Moll