Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY - The UBC Thunderbirds' special teams was again the answer to another victory against Mount Royal, sweeping the Cougars with a 3-1 win Saturday afternoon at Flames Community Arena.
The 'Birds killed off all eight of the Cougar power plays including three five-on-threes on the weekend.
UBC head coach Graham Thomas commented, "Our goalies have been playing really well so that helps, the commitment to blocking shots and commitment to getting the puck out was our key to success,"
MRU started the game on a better note than the contest previous, forcing bodies to the net and forcing a UBC defence line to stand at attention in the opening shifts of the game. The Thunderbirds however, coped with the pressure and found the back of the net 6:03 in.
Cassandra Vilgrain scuffed the puck on a two-on-one when she shot the puck at Zoe De Beauville rather than the yawning cage. The rebound landed on the tape of Oslo, Norway native Mathea Fischer who slapped the puck into the back of the net for her first goal on the season.
UBC turned the table, pressing MRU and found the back of the net for the second time in the first period.
The goal would've put a smile on any coach's face as a set play written on the whiteboard translated to the ice. Centre Logan Boyd won the puck back to Madison Patrick who with some nifty head bobbing, managed to find open ice. She slap-passed the puck to an open Hannah Clayton-Carrol on the short side who tipped the puck upstairs. Clayton-Carrol scored her second goal in as many games to double the visiting sides lead at 2-0 13:33 in to the second.
MRU looked to regroup heading into the first intermission two goals down.
In the second frame, UBC started playing loosely along with added aggression, taking two body checking and a cross-check penalties in the period and killing all of them off. The Cougars found themselves on yet another two man-advantage inside the first five minutes, their third of the series. But again, the Cougars failed to chance on the opportunity to claw back into the game.
UBC's special teams were a huge part of the weekends success as at the 18:14 mark of the second, the Thunderbirds tallied their third goal of the game, putting on a clinic on a bruised up MRU defence. Clayton-Carrol continued to scorch the Cougars, jamming in her second goal of the game and seventh for the year putting her tied for the conference lead in goals. UBC took a 3-0 lead heading into the final break.
MRU managed to sneak a goal past UBC goalie Tory Micklash when Reanna Arnold tossed a low driven shot on net and went in past a crowd of bodies.
The T-Birds managed to keep the puck in the Cougars' end the rest of the game and held on for the weekend sweep.
Thomas also commented, "Today we got back to our game and stuck to the game for all 60 minutes,"
The Cougars travel to Saskatoon with a weekend match-up against the Huskies while UBC hosts the Alberta Pandas next weekend for a battle between two second placed team.