Thunderbirds opportunistic in win over Dinos

Thunderbirds opportunistic in win over Dinos

CALGARY - The University of Calgary Dinos lost a close battle 4-3 against the UBC Thunderbirds on Friday evening, Nov. 7th at the Father David Bauer Arena.

Both teams were coming off a bye weekend as they headed into tonight's game. Despite running into penalty trouble in the second period, the Thunderbirds found a way to capitalize and shock the Dinos – who outshot their opponent 27-11.

"It's not fun to lose, but I'm happy with the way we played tonight. We outshot and out battled them," explained head coach Danielle Goyette. "At the end of the day some people in the room have to step up and do their job and be ready for tomorrow. I can't ask more of those girls in that room, they gave everything they got."

Despite a scoreless first period, the Dinos controlled the majority of the play in the early half of the period before running into some penalty trouble. The Dinos outshot the Thunderbirds in the first stanza 9-3 and used an aggressive penalty kill to keep the Thunderbirds struggling to find an opportunity to test Dinos netminder Hayley Dowling.

UBC made a trail to the penalty box in the opening minutes of the second period, taking three minors in under two minutes. Calgary had a two-man advantage for over a minute but were unable to capitalize with open ice

The Thunderbirds would strike first with five minutes left in the second period. Katie Zinn sent a low shot on net from the point that went unseen by Dowling as Stephanie Schaupmeyer and Nicole Saxvik picked up helpers on the play.

The Dinos wasted no time tying the game up just under a minute later when Megan Grenon snuck in from the point to put a loose puck from Iya Gavrilova past Samantha Langford to claim the Dinos' first of the evening. The goal was Grenon's first of the season.

UBC responded a minute later when Nikola Brown-John received a cross-crease pass from Tatiana Rafter that she slide into the open net, increasing UBC's lead to two.

Brown-John wasn't done there. Going around two Dinos defenders wide, the senior forward whipped a shot past Dowling for an unassisted goal, ending the Calgary starter's night with her second of the evening.

Calgary came out into the third with extra energy as they aimed to cut into their two-goal deficit. Gavrilova picked up her second point of the night just two minutes into the third period, on a pass from Stephanie Zvonkovic. Gavrilova beat two UBC defenders before putting a slapshot past Langford to cut the lead to 3-2.

The Thunderbirds wouldn't go away quietly though as Saxvik put a shot high blocker side past Carissa Fischer mid-way through the third period to increase their lead to two. Zinn picked up her second assist on the play.

Continuing to battle back, Erika Mitschke capitalized on a breakaway after picking the puck up on the Dinos blue line to beat Langford five-hole with just under three minutes to play in the third period. Calgary would pull Fischer for an extra attacker but just couldn't find the equalizer.

"If we play like that tomorrow our chance to win is going to be good, as long as everyone shows up".

Calgary went 0-for-6 on the power play, while UBC went 0-for-3.

Calgary now falls to a record of 4-2-3, while UBC improves to 6-1-2.

The Dinos will have another opportunity to improve their record against the Thunderbirds tomorrow afternoon Nov. 8th at 2 p.m. at the Father David Bauer Arena.

- UC -