Wilson Wong (UBC Thunderbirds)
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds fell 4-1 to the Manitoba Bisons in Game 2 of the Canada West women's hockey championship Saturday night in Vancouver.
The best-of-three series is now tied at a game apiece, with the deciding matchup to take place Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. PT at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. UBC won Friday's Game 1 by a score of 2-1.
T-Bird defenceman Kelly Murray (Medicine Hat, Alta.) opened the scoring just 2:01 into the game before Venla Hovi (2), Erica Rieder and Erin Kucheravy replied for Manitoba, which also got a 17-save performance in net from Amanda Schubert.
Danielle Dube (New Westminster, B.C.) made 23 stops in a losing cause on Saturday.
Murray's goal came on a Manitoba defensive turnover into the slot. The Canada West All-Star took the loose puck and backhanded a shot over the blocker of Schubert.
The Bisons turned the game around with their first goal, which came with seven seconds left in the second period. Alanna Sharman caused a UBC turnover at the centre line and brought the puck into the T-Birds' zone on a 2-on-1. She dished the puck cross the ice to Hovi, who converted the opportunity to tie the game going into the second intermission.
UBC looked like it had scored early in the third when Stephanie Schaupmeyer (Kelowna, B.C.) deflected a pass past Schubert but despite the red light coming on, the on-ice officials judged the puck didn't cross the goal line.
Manitoba took advantage of the situation minutes later at 7:19, when Rieder put the visitors ahead 2-1. Kayleigh Wiens dumped the puck into the UBC zone and was the first to get to it behind the goal line. With her back to the play, she backhanded a pass into the slot past several players onto the stick of Rieder, who nailed a slapshot into the net from the right point.
Less than two minutes later off a scrambled faceoff, Manitoba's Cassandra Taylor advanced a bouncing puck to the front of the UBC net, where it was knocked in by Kucheravy at 8:29.
Hovi sealed the game with an unassisted empty-net goal shot from behind the centre line at 16:58.
Neither team scored on the power play. Manitoba had three chances, while UBC earned two.
IMAGE CREDIT: Bob Frid/UBC Thunderbirds