Cougars fall short in Vancouver

Photo credit: Bob Frid
Photo credit: Bob Frid

VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds (14-5-4-3) came through on seniors' day Saturday afternoon at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre earning a 2-1 win over the visiting Mount Royal Cougars (7-15-3-1).

Madison Patrick and Emily Costales scored five minutes apart in the first period while Amelia Boughn made 11 saves for her seventh win of the season as the 'Birds enter the final weekend of the regular season one ahead of Alberta for second in the conference.

Prior to puck drop, UBC honoured their four graduating players in Kathleen Cahoon, Alexa Ranahan, Kirsten Toth, and Cassandra Vilgrain.

While the 'Birds are lead by their seniors, the 'Birds on Saturday were lead offensively by Madison Patrick and Emily Costales as they recorded one goal apiece, and were lead defensively by the stellar goaltending of Amelia Boughn, who turned away eleven of the twelve shots she faced.

Last night the 'Birds had trouble solving Cougars' goaltender Zoe DeBauville, but wasted no time jumping on her in the first. In what took over seventy minutes on Friday, only took four minutes on Saturday.

The 'Birds were finally able to get a puck past DeBauville thanks to Madison Patrick and five minutes after that were able to get another goal courtesy of Emily Costales. The "Birds continue to put the pressure on, as in the last minute of the play Patrick took another shot that went off DeBauville then off the crossbar.

"Those two early goals were very critical, it gave us a lot of confidence going into the second and third periods," Vilgrain said of her team's performance in the opening frame.

The Cougars were able to get one back in the second period. With over ten minutes gone in the frame, thanks to an Emily Costales high stick, the Cougars were awarded a power play. Just over ten seconds into the power play, the Cougars got on the board as Tatum Amy was able to get a shot passed Boughn, cutting the Birds lead to one.

Halfway through the third period, the 'Birds were rewarded with fifty seconds of five on three followed by just over a minute of an additional power play. Alas, like Fridaynight, Cougar goaltender Zoe DeBauville kept her team in the game turning every Thunderbird opportunity.

The 'Birds dominated the attack in the third period, not allowing the Cougars to get any momentum to build up a comeback. The Cougars did not register a shot on net in the third period till about the seven-minute mark.  That was all the Cougars could muster against Boughn, as they got outshot in the period 17-1.

"It was nice that we could be mentally strong and consistent through that and be resilient in this game and stay focused on the task at hand," Thomas said on how his team handled the emotions of senior's day while still focusing on the game.

The 'Birds fly to Edmonton next weekend where they will finish up their regular season campaign against the University of Alberta Pandas. While both teams have clinched postseason births, playoff seeding will still be on the line as the 'Birds are currently two points behind the Pandas.