UBC Thunderbirds rain on Mount Royal Cougars home opening weekend with overtime win
Calgary, AB- The UBC Thunderbirds managed to come out victorious in a 4-3 overtime thrill ride Saturday at the Flames Community Arenas thanks to a pair of goals from the team's leading scorer Rebecca Unrau, including the overtime winner.
The UBC forwards spent most of the first period controlling the puck in the Cougars end, but despite outshooting Mount Royal 9-5 went into the locker-room deadlocked at 0 due in part to Cougars goalie Emma Pincott being calm, cool and collected in her second start of the season.
The Cougars opened the scoring just a minute and a half into the second period. After bringing the puck up from her own zone, Rachel Piitz made a gorgeous pass to Sarah Weninger who had craftily slipped behind the Thunderbirds defense. Weninger's deke fooled Thunderbird goaltender Samantha Langford and her first of the year gave the Cougars the lead.
Weninger and the Cougars weren't done just yet. Playing their best hockey of the season the Cougars just missed on a great scoring chance off the rush, and after some good puck possession in the Thunderbirds zone Weninger was able to propel the puck past the shoulder of Langford giving her team a two goal cushion.
The Thunderbird weren't going down without a fight. With five minutes remaining in the second period UBC defenseman Mikayla Ogrodniczuk's point shot deflected off a Cougars player and past a helpless Pincott- giving Ogrodniczuk her first goal of the season.
Three minutes later the Thunderbirds struck again on a carbon copy of their first goal. With a flurry of white and blue traffic in front of the net Thunderbird forward Nicole Saxvic was able to deflect the point shot from UBC defenseman Kaylin Snodgrass into the Cougars cage for her first of the year, equalizing the score.
The offensive explosion continued. Riding the momentum from the first two goals the Thunderbirds lit the lamp yet again; this time it was UBC leading scorer Rebecca Unrau sending her third of the year past Pincott on a lightning quick wrist shot from just in front.
The Thunderbird's three goals came in just a five-minute span, crushing the Cougar's spirits who now had to pose a third period fight of their own to avoid a Thunderbird weekend sweep.
The Cougars did just that. Half way through the third frame defenseman Carley Bertram came flying into the Thunderbirds zone and sent a hard wrist shot past Rebecca Langford for her first of the year.
Despite trading quality chances in the late stages of the third period both goaltenders stood tall and the two squads were off to overtime.
In the extra frame the Thunderbirds again depended on their leading scorer Rebecca Unrau who came through for the team with one minute remaining. On a two on one Unrae managed to slide the puck past a diving Pincott, securing the weekend sweep for the Thunderbirds.
Samantha Langford, who now boasts a 2-1 record, turned away 17 of the 20 Cougars shots she faced while Emma Pincott stopped 32 out of 36, falling to 0-2 on the year.
Coming into the weekend winless, the back-to-back triumphs shoot the UBC Thunderbirds right back up the Canada West standings heading back to Vancouver with a 2-2 record. As for the Cougars, the heartbreaking loss keeps them winless at 0-4.
The Cougars head east next weekend to visit the 2-2 Manitoba Bisons while the Thunderbirds host the 0-3 UofC Dinos.