Thomas Guenther (UBC Athletics)
VANCOUVER – It was a winning debut for Lethbridge Pronghorns head coach Michelle Janus as her team defeated the host UBC Thunderbirds 4-2 Friday night in the Canada West women's hockey opener for both squads.
Thanks to three power-play goals, the Pronghorns jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and then held on for the road triumph.
Tricia Van Vaerenbergh, Lauren Fredrich, and Mattie Apperson all scored with the man-advantage in the first for Lethbridge, which got the insurance marker from Aislinn Kooistra, also on the power play, after UBC's Rebecca Unrau tallied twice in the second period to close her team's deficit to 3-2.
"We've got a really resilient group that just works one shift at a time," UBC assistant coach Mike Sommer said following the tough loss. "Our players worked hard and we had some bad bounces."
Van Vaerenbergh got the Lethbridge offence rolling halfway through the first, on a 5-on-3 power play. She converted a rebound glove side on UBC goaltender Danielle Dube. Less than a minute later, a point shot through traffic was redirected by Fredrich over Dube's shoulder.
Eighty-eight seconds after that, Apperson's shot from the circle found the back of the net to make it 3-0.
Unrau sparked a comeback attempt with a goal at 4:40 of the second as she knocked a rebound past Lethbridge goaltender Alicia Anderson.
Then just after a Pronghorns double minor expired, Unrau scored again at 17:01 to close the gap to just one goal.
Anderson stopped 30 of 32 shots for the win, while Dube was assigned the loss. Pronghorn defenceman Jocelyn Sabourin recorded three assists.
Lethbridge went 4-for-6 on the power play, while UBC didn't convert on any of its six man-advantage opportunities.
"We know it's a process and I think everyone did a really good job of keeping a positive attitude and just going out there and working hard," said Sommer. "We've got a really good group. We have a team full of leaders… and I think we're going to be ready to go tomorrow."
The same teams will play again on Saturday afternoon, with puck drop scheduled for 3 p.m. at Father David Bauer Arena.
IMAGE CREDIT: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds