Jeremy Laurie (UBC Athletics)
VANCOUVER – After being shut out on Friday night, the UBC Thunderbirds women's hockey team (8-6-2-2) rallied to defeat the visiting Mount Royal Cougars (7-8-2-1) 6-2 on Saturday at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Center.
In stark contrast to their goal drought the night before, the Thunderbirds put on a clinic. Rebecca Unrau (Humboldt, Sask.), Logan Boyd (Waterdown, Ont.) and Haneet Parhar (West Vancouver) each had multi-point nights, while six others registered points.
Megan Carver and Kennedy Bozek scored for MRU.
UBC head coach Graham Thomas acknowledged the importance of depth, teamwork and ensuring that all four lines contribute.
"That's the strength of our team. Today we had to get refocused…and get back to Thunderbirds hockey, and that's what we did," he said.
Mount Royal struck quickly with their first shot of the game finding twine. A pass from Carley Bertram was shoveled in by Carver at 4:25, giving the Cougars an early one-goal lead.
The T-Birds mustered an offensive push that was lacking during Friday night's matchup and, less than a minute after Mount Royal's goal, tied things up at one apiece. Taking advantage of a defensive mix-up in the Cougars' zone, Unrau stole the puck, sailed out front alone and sent a wrister towards the top left corner that was tipped in by Parhar.
After surviving a penalty kill, where goaltender Danielle Dube (New Westminster, B.C.) came up big with three stops, UBC struck again. A feed from Parhar was redirected by Unrau into the Cougars net, giving UBC their first lead of the weekend.
The 'Birds kept the pressure on and netted their third goal of the opening period at 13:09. A sprawling pad save from Cougars goalie Emma Pincott left just enough space for Boyd to tuck in the rebound. Unrau and Cailey Hay (Oakbank, Man.) provided assists on the play.
Pincott kept the Cougars alive through a grueling two-minute penalty kill midway through the second, adding three to her 23-save night.
Back on even strength UBC netted their fourth after a cross-ice feed from Melissa Goodwin (Burlington, Ont.) found Parhar who ripped the puck into the top corner at 5:29 of the second.
A goal-hungry Mount Royal began firing on all cylinders early in the third. After Dube stopped back-to-back shots, Bozek capitalized on the second rebound and fired in Mount Royal's second at 5:20.
The Thunderbirds didn't wait long to return to the three-goal advantage as, only 38 seconds later, Boyd snuck in her second goal of the afternoon, giving UBC the 5-3 lead. Laura Trachsel (Zurich, Switzerland) also added an insurance goal midway through the final frame.
Dube stopped 14 of the 16 shots she faced for her fourth win of the season.
UBC will look to mimic Saturday's offensive performance when they host the league-leading Alberta Pandas (11-6-0-1) on Friday, January 8 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, January 9 at 3 p.m. Both games will be played at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Mount Royal will host Manitoba (9-8-0-1) next weekend in Calgary.
IMAGE CREDIT: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds