Calgary — A goal in the final minutes by Joe Antilla was the difference as the visiting University of British Columbia Thunderbirds won 3-2 and swept the weekend series with the Mount Royal University Cougars.
In the final tune-up before the Crowchild Classic, the Cougars came out sluggish but turned it on towards the end. However, the late Thunderbird goal stole any chance of a point
With Dalyn Flette making his first start of 2015, the Thunderbirds went after him in the first frame. 12 minutes in, Anthony Bardaro skated into the Cougars' zone, stopped up to lose his pursuer, and fired a crisp pass to Jason Yee, who made no mistake beating Flette down low for his first of the year. Later on, with just 1:30 left in the first, Manraj Hayer fired a pass down low to Cole Wilson, who had three or four attempts before roofing in for his 10th of the year to put UBC up 2-0.
Just minutes into the second period, Brett Zarazun had the puck at the top left of the UBC zone and fired on net. It managed to sneak through a maze of players and found the five hole on Eric Williams, bringing the Cougars to just one. They continued to pepper Williams with shots, but the UBC tender was up to the task turning aside 11 of 12 in the period.
Trailing entering the third, Mount Royal threw everything at the net, and with the motive, they managed to get another by Williams. Matt Brown took a shot from the high slot and the rebound bounced right out front to Zack Henry, who batted the puck over the glove of Williams. Williams reacted like he held it, but it just trickled past. As the game entered it's final minutes and it appeared overtime might be the next option, UBC broke out of their zone and orchestrated a nice passing play finished off by Joe Antilla, scoring with just 2:15 remaining. With the goalie pulled, the Cougars couldn't score another and fell.
Williams recorded 34 saves on 36 shots, while Flette turned aside 20 of 23. Wilson picked up two points in the win.
On Thursday, Mount Royal will battle the University of Calgary Dinos at the ScotiaBank Saddledome. The Dinos sit two points ahead of the Cougars in the standings, but Mount Royal won the previous Dome matchups in the previous two years. The teams then battle Friday at the Flames Community Arena.