The U of C Dinos punched their ticket to the Canada West men’s hockey final with a sweep of their arch rivals, the Mount Royal Cougars, last weekend.

Forward Jake Poole, who was named the Canada West rookie of the year on Thursday morning, says beating the Cougars was sweet payback after losing both ends of the Crowchild Classic earlier in the week.

“They kind of had our number a bit through the regular season,” he said.

“We wanted some payback in the playoffs. We came together as a team and it was a great feeling for sure.”


Of course beating the Cougars is only one part of the journey for Dinos.

Up next is the UBC Thunderbirds this weekend.  All three games will be played in Vancouver and head coach Mark Howell is expecting a tough series.

“UBC has had a great year,” he said.

“They’re as skilled and fast as anybody in our league if not the most (skilled)," he said.  "The thing they’ve added in the last couple of years is they’re got great work ethic.”

“They play real hard and they compete so that skill can be used more.  We’ve got a game plan going in, but our compete and our effort has to be real high to play and match what they do.”


No matter who wins this series, both teams have qualified for the national championship, which will be held in Toronto from March 14th to the 17th.

Third year defenceman Sean Strange says the Dinos want to take care of unfinished business at the nationals.

“You know last year wasn’t what we were looking for so I think getting back there this year with that motivation of what happened last year, I think we’ll be a lot more hungry and come prepared.”


The Dinos went into the nationals last year as the number one seed, but lost in the quarter finals to the number eight seed hosts from Prince Edward Island.

Howell says they learned a lesson.

But they’re also not looking past the Thunderbirds.

“We don’t want to just be a one hit wonder where we’ve won one (Canada West) championship.  I think our guys are motivated to win two,” he said.

“We want to get back to the national tournament and we want to go as the Canada West champions.  When we get there we want to showcase ourselves better than we did last year.”

“We weren’t quite ready for the quarter finals," he added. "P.E.I. came out and jumped us with a lot of physicality and we weren’t quite sharp enough for that.  You know obviously we’ll take care of this weekend but looking forward to that journey as well.”

The best-of-three series between the Dinos and Thunderbirds gets underway on Friday night.  Game 2  is Saturday and if necessary they’ll play Game 3 on Sunday.