Sept. 28, 2023

Dinos men’s hockey team looks to sustain and build on dominant season

Dakota Krebs hopes to help build program into annual national championship contender
Dinos defencemen Dakota Krebs in action against the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
Dinos defencemen Dakota Krebs in action against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. David Moll, for Dinos Athletics

Third-year defenceman Dakota Krebs admits the Dino’s men’s hockey team dominant 2022- 2023 season was unexpected to a lot of the guys on the team.

However, with a Canada West championship in their trophy case, the expectations for the team have shifted and their goal is still in the crosshairs.

“We still haven’t achieved the ultimate goal of winning a national championship, so there’s still a ton of motivation for our group,” says Krebs.

After breaking through to secure the program’s first Canada West championship since 1996, the team now has the belief and desire to be a team that is in the picture for national championships every year.

The men’s hockey team is also unique amongst UCalgary teams as many of the players come from the Western Hockey League (WHL), meaning they are already used to the school-sports balance that many athletes struggle to adjust to.

“It’s a treat. I prefer the university schedule way over the WHL schedule,” says Krebs, who played for the Tri-City Americans and the Calgary Hitmen.

The Canada West regular season lasts 28 games compared to 68 games in the WHL, in roughly the same period of time.

The university schedule also gives the athletes the entire month of December off, which Krebs describes as challenging as it is almost an off-season within the season.

However, the university schedule offers some great developmental advantages.

“It’s a whole different perspective on development because you get to take the week, improve on things as a team and as a player, and then implement them into the games,” explains Krebs.

Dakota Krebs and the rest of the Dinos leadership group celebrate their Canada West championship.

Dakota Krebs and the rest of the Dinos leadership group celebrate their Canada West championship.

David Moll, for Dinos Athletics

Krebs himself comes from a hockey family, as his two younger brothers both play high-level hockey as well. Peyton plays for the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL and Dru is playing with Medicine Hat in the WHL.

He got the opportunity to play against both of his brothers when they were all in the WHL. Now that all three play in different leagues, he says it’s nice to be able to cheer on both of his brothers.

“I get to watch both of their games, and it’s more just about seeing them,” says Krebs.

“Hitmen fans will hate it, but Medicine Hat is my favourite team because Dru is on it, the same with Peyton and the Sabres,” he says.

What life after hockey could look like

Krebs, a Haskayne School of Business student, spent the summer working in athletics doing community outreach and ticket sales, as well as working with the Joan Snyder Fund for Excellence.

He says the entrepreneurial side of business and how good organizations function are two areas that have really caught his attention.

“Coming from a team perspective, there’s a lot of alignment there,” Krebs explains. “If you can find ways to make people work together better and find out what makes a really strong organization, that fires me up and gets me excited.”

Krebs would love to be in sport in his life after hockey. Once his skates are hung up, he’ll still be active in the community.

He says the pandemic forced him to look into his life after hockey and was a catalyst for him to look at the other aspects of his life that he wanted to grow.

“What I love about school, is it has grown my interest in learning about all things,” says Krebs.

“In my spare time I just look up stuff I’m interested in, which I never used to do, but I’m looking forward to the future and trying to give myself the best opportunity to succeed.”

For now, though, his focus is on the ice for this season, with a great group of players who’d love to see as many people as possible come out to watch them.

“The Dinos community is super important to us, and for anyone who wants to come and watch, we’re excited to put on a show for you,” he says.

Krebs and the Dinos men’s hockey team begin their 2023 Canada West campaign on Sept. 28 when they host the MacEwan Griffins at Father David Bauer Arena. Single game and season tickets are on sale now at UCalgary students can access free tickets by using their UCID on ShowPass.


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