“We got one.”
That was the initial thought from fifth-year, and graduating, Cougars forward Connor Rankin post-game after MRU snapped a four-year winless drought at the Dome game.
The men’s team earned a thrilling 5-4 double overtime marathon win Thursday afternoon in front of a packed lower-bowl littered in blue and red.
Sophomore Ryley Lindgren was the hero of the back-and-forth that saw his Cougars blow a 3-0 lead.
Fourth-year graduating forward Chris Gerrie caused an eruption out of MRU supporters before sophomore Hunter Zandee and rookie blue-liner Connor Blake rounded up the offence inside the second period.
Calgary however, capitalized on MRU penalty trouble to mount an incredible comeback before eventually erasing a 3-0 deficit.
Already killing six Dino power plays, the strong MRU penalty kill eventually cracked.
A late second period penalty carried over into the fresh period, setting up the break the Dinos desperately needed in which Calgary capitalized on. MRU took one more penalty where the Dinos converted on their second straight man-advantage to bridge the gap at 3-2.
Calgary completed the comeback in unbelievable fashion — despite all momentum halting to an end.
Dino Sahvan Kharia got tagged with a five-minute game misconduct for cross-checking an MRU player in the face behind the play. The routine was in place for MRU to shave off at least five minutes off the clock with the chance to add to their slim lead.
In predictable Crowchild Classic fashion, a turning point saw the game change.
A dumped in puck was misplayed by the second-year MRU netminder as the puck bounced off his stick-blade and gilded towards his crease before having the puck buried by the Dinos to even the game.
Cougars rookie Sean Richards restored an MRU lead but the Dinos clawed and fought to the bitter end, tying the game with 16.2 seconds left.
The first 4v4 overtime session solved nothing before hero Ryley Lindgren scored in the 3v3 session and caused an eruption inside the Dome.
The Lens: Crowchild Classic 2020
Photos by Jill Meagher & Brian Wells
Jan. 31, 2020
History continued to be made when the women’s teams took the ice in the prime time slot for the first time in Crowchild Classic history.
A reported 10,002 fans were in attendance at the start of the game which broke a USPORTS record for attendance at a women’s hockey game.
The stronger Dinos prevailed in the double-header with a 4-1 win over their inner-city rivals.
Fourth-year Nicolett Seper was the lone scorer for MRU.
Seper, one of the more senior members of her club, enjoyed the build up and the eventual change of environment around the glass pay off, playing in the prime time slot.
“All week it was really exciting,” she says. “Promoting our game on main street and kind of being able to finally say that we have the later game. It was awesome. And I think it's great that we're rotating each year,”
That very change in the environment however, did play a factor in the loss.
“The crowd is super loud, so sometimes you feel like you don't have to be as loud on the bench,” Seper said.
“We play our best when we're vocal and when we're upbeat on the bench and helping each other out. So I think that lack today and hopefully we bring it tomorrow.”
- By Daniel Khavkin