Jeff Sargeant/UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds (2-0-1-0) exploded for four third-period goals en route to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Dinos (0-0-2-1) Friday evening at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Down 1-0 heading into the final frame, the T-Birds capitalized on the man advantage with two power play goals while adding a short handed marker sealing UBC's second win of the season while rookie goaltender Tory Micklash stopped 13 shots for her first CIS career victory.
"The power play finally came through for us big," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. "We won the special teams battle but the challenge was for the weekend and to continue that on so that will be the next step to see how we do moving into tomorrow."
UBC finished 2-for-8 on the power play while the penalty kill was a perfect 7-for-7.
The Dinos opened scoring just 3:37 into the first period with Sasha Vafina's second of the season. The fourth-year forward slid a low shot from the slot past Micklash as Calgary made good on sustained pressure in the UBC zone from the opening face off.
The T-Birds got some momentum back on their side killing off a long 5-on-3 Calgary power play midway through the opening frame before getting a two-man advantage of their own in the final minute of the first but couldn't convert heading into the break down a goal.
After failing to score on the remainder of power play time to start the second, UBC got another chance a couple minutes later but once again they couldn't solve Kelsey Roberts as the rookie goaltender made 13 saves through the first 40 minutes of play.
The T-Birds tied up the game at the 3:07 mark as Nicole Saxvik jammed a rebound past Roberts' stick side for her second goal of the season from Celine Tardif and Cassandra Vilgrain.
Then just before the halfway mark of the period the Thunderbirds took their first lead of the game as Kathleen Cahoon wristed the puck top shelf for her first of the season.
"It definitely feels good to get that monkey off my back," said the fourth-year forward. "It was a great team win, everyone was going."
The Dinos proceeded to get into more penalty trouble and the floodgates were open for the Thunderbirds who scored on a 5-on-3 power play to make it a two goal lead with 8:06 remaining as Mairead Bast fired her first career CIS goal, top shelf.
In the dying seconds of a Calgary power play late in the period the Dinos pulled Roberts for the extra attacker but Logan Boyd found the empty net for her first of the season with just 1:51 on the clock.
After surrendering the game's first goal early in the opening frame, Micklash was unbeatable for the T-Birds earning high praise from her head coach.
"She did a great job shutting the door," said Thomas. "She had a couple 2-on-1's, a couple breakaways. She wasn't overly busy but when we needed her she was there. It was nice to see her get her first win and get some confidence behind her."
The T-Birds outshot the Dinos 21-14.
The Thunderbirds can earn their first weekend sweep of the young CIS season Saturday afternoon in a rematch with the Dinos. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. PT at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
IMAGE CREDIT: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds