By Rachel Villari (UBC Sports Information Assistant)
VANCOUVER -- The UBC Thunderbirds women's hockey team was at it again Saturday night, defeating the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns 5-1. With the 'W' came a weekend sweep for the Thunderbirds in their second-to-last home series of the season.
The Thunderbirds' offensive power was flexed tonight, as the team put away goals in every period, and were even able to capitalize on a power play.
Tatiana Rafter got UBC on the board with just under three minutes remaining in the opening frame banging in a rebound off the back boards for her 11th goal of the season. Stephanie Schaupmeyer and Nicole Saxvik picked up the assists. 1-0 is how things stood through 20 minutes.
The three combined again just 22 seconds into the second period, this time in reverse order. Rafter fed the puck to Schaupmeyer who found Saxvik in front of the net for her 10th goal of the season. Rebecca Unrau made it 3-0 just 12 seconds later, jumping on a loose puck in front of the net for her 10th goal of the season. Just 34 seconds into the second period and the 'Birds put themselves in full control.
The Pronghorns would charge back, as Sadie Lenstra weaved her way through the UBC defence off the half wall and beat Samantha Langford high on the blocker side for her team-leading sixth goal of the season, to cut the lead to 3-1 with 17 minutes remaining in the second period.
UBC continued to press but Lethbridge netminder Crystal Patterson kept her team in it, absolutely robbing Rafter point blank to keep it a 3-1 game after two periods of play.
The Thunderbird's extended their lead in the third period. Unrau scored her second of the game and 11th of the season on the power play as she found herself alone at the side of the net to put UBC in front 4-1. To add to the offensive output, graduating senior Lisa Trainor also scored off a Emily O'Neill rush, banging in a big rebound for her first career CIS school on her senior weekend, giving the Thunderbirds a 5-1 lead. She picked up a goal and an assist in two games this weekend.
Langford shut the door the rest of the way, needing to make just six saves in the period and 17 stops overall for her 10th win of the season in net. Patterson made 26 saves in a losing cause.
Rafter finished the night with a goal and two assists and now leads the team with 24 points on the season.
With the victory UBC nows has 48 points and sits in third place in the Canada West conference just three points back of first place Alberta and two points back of second-place Manitoba.
UBC will play host to those same Bisons next weekend in their final regular season home series at 'the Doug' on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.
Lethbridge will host University of Saskatchewan next weekend.
IMAGE CREDIT: Wilson Wong/UBC Thunderbirds