Lethbridge - Netting two first-period goals less than a minute apart, the visiting UBC Thunderbirds held on for a 2-1 regulation win over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, Friday night, at Nicholas Sheran Arena in the first of a two game weekend series.
Sarah Casorso and Melissa Goodwin each earned individual markers for the T-Birds, while Sadie Lenstra scored the lone goal for Lethbridge.
Samantha Langford got the start for UBC and faced 29 shots on the night, stopping all but one. Crystal Patterson started in net for Lethbridge and turned aside 37 of the 39 shots she faced.
The T-Birds looked strong in the early minutes of play, putting solid pressure on the Lethbridge net-minder and earning great chances as a result.
Kaylin Snodgrass's hard shot through traffic looked promising but was deflected out of harm's way by a Lethbridge defender and follow-up efforts from Stephanie Schaupmeyer and Nicole Saxvik each came close but were each stonewalled by Patterson.
Lethbridge's Courtney Minor was called for hooking at 5:58 which meant UBC would find themselves on the first of many power play opportunities on the night. It didn't take long for captain Casorso to crack the score sheet, her fifth of the season, from Logan Boyd and Celine Tardiff. Her hard wrister found its way past an unsuspecting Patterson, low glove-side.
It took less than a minute for the T-Birds to double-up their lead. Making the most of a loose rebound from another one of Casorso's efforts, Goodwin quickly chipped the puck up and over the shoulder of the Lethbridge keeper.
The Pronghorns seemed to find some life in the locker room and came out hard in the second, making smart plays and putting lots of pressure on Langford, who faced only six shots in the opening frame.
With Cailey Hay serving two for tripping, the Pronghorns capitalized on a power play opportunity of their own as the second period neared the halfway mark. Jockeying for position in front of the net, captain Lenstra managed to beat Langford in close for her first of the season, from Sarah Spence and Amber Yuha, cutting UBC's lead in half.
Despite a great third period push by the home team, Langford stood tall between the posts and denied repeated efforts by a surging Horn's offensive.
With this win, the T-Birds improve to 4-0-1 (CW) while the Pronghorns fall to 0-5-0 (CW). Game two of the weekend match-up is set for Saturday afternoon at Nicholas Sheran Arena. Puck drop is at 4:30.