Thunderbirds beat Cougars 3-2, earn split

Thunderbirds beat Cougars 3-2, earn split

The University of Regina women's hockey team fell 3-2 to the UBC Thunderbirds in Canada West action at The Co-operators Centre on Saturday.


Kelly Murray's slapshot from the face-off circle proved to be the difference, as her third-period marker broke a 2-2 tie and put the T-Birds up for good.


Nicole Saxvik had a goal and a helper for the visitors, which also got a goal from Katie Zinn. Tatiana Rafter had two assists in the win.


Bailey Braden and Stephanie Sawchuk (pictured) replied for the Cougars.


UBC was the first to strike, opening the scoring early in the second period following a Tessa Wilson cross-checking penalty. The Thunderbirds worked the puck around in Regina's end, and it was Saxvik who benefited. Rafter fed the puck in front to the third-year forward, who made a move to the middle and out-waited Toni Ross before depositing the puck into the open net. Sarah Casorso also registered a helper on Saxvik's ninth of the season.


The Cougars had more than 90 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage midway through the second period and had a number of chances on net, but Danielle Lemon stood her ground in net and preserved the UBC lead.


The Thunderbirds would add to their lead later in the frame, after a long stretch pass to Zinn from Devon Morrison. Zinn collected the puck and swooped in down the right side of the ice, beating Ross five-hole with a low wrist shot.


The Cougars drew closer with just over two minutes left in the second, as Brooklyn Moskowy won a face-off back to Braden who fired a wrist shot through traffic, beating Lemon glove side for her second goal of the weekend.


Regina tied the game up 61 seconds later with a similar looking goal. Emma Waldenberger tipped the puck to Sawchuk who sent a low shot towards the net. The puck slipped through the screen in front and inside the left post before Lemon could even react, making the score 2-2 heading into the third.


The Thunderbirds would reclaim the lead early in the third period off a broken play. Rafter and Saxvik worked to get the puck in front but Ross knocked it away with her stick. The loose puck bounced right to Murray who unloaded a slap shot that beat Ross under the blocker.


The Cougars pressed late in the period but could not beat Lemon, and the Thunderbirds took the game and earned the split.


Ross and Lemon each made 34 saves between the pipes.


Regina drops to 4-6-9-2 with the loss, but maintains the sixth and final playoff spot in Canada West. UBC improves to 12-1-5-4 and holds the third place in the conference.


The Cougars will travel to Calgary next weekend for a pair of crucial matchups against the Dinos.