Thunderbirds win to close out 2016

Thunderbirds win to close out 2016

Max Sturley, Dinos Communications Assistant

CALGARY- The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds capped off 2016 by collecting their 14th straight win, as they defeated the University of Calgary Dinos, 6-1, in the second game of the back-to-back, Saturday afternoon, Dec. 3rd at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.

"They are a really good team so they capitalize on all their chances, and we've had a bad habit of getting down as soon as they get a goal" noted Dinos assistant captain, Heather Berzins. "I think we just need to keep going, if they get a goal, we have to just get back at it."

Looking to rebound after the loss last night, the Dinos grabbed the first three shots on goal, before UBC opened the scoring two and a half minutes into the game. Kelly Murray pinched up from the blue line, received a pass and snuck a wrap around through the wickets of Calgary goaltender, Sarah Murray.

The Thunderbirds defense continued their offensive play, as forward Emily O'Neil found a pinching Mikayla Ogrodniczuk with a cross ice, backdoor pass, as she beat Murray on the blocker side, making it 2-0.

Before the end of the first, Thunderbirds forward Shiayli Toni, scored her 2nd goal of the weekend, chasing Murray from the net, as Kelsey Roberts took over the Dinos net for the remainder of the game. The Thunderbirds outshot the Dinos 12-5 in the first twenty.

The Dinos failed to chip into the lead, as an early power play opportunity was squandered. Kelsey Roberts held her team in it, including her best save of the game, as she reached back and smothered the puck along the goal line with her glove.

Shortly after, UBC defender Alexa Ranahan burned a Dinos forward before waiting out Roberts, as she buried the team's fourth goal of the game. Thunderbirds captain Stephanie Schaupmayer extended the lead to five, as she poked a rebound chance in tight past Roberts.

The Dinos got on the board nine minutes into the third, as forward Chelsea Court completed a tic-tac-toe play, nabbing her fourth goal of the season. UBC restored their five goal lead as Kelly Murray added her second of the game, making the score 6-1. The Dinos came close to cutting the lead near the final buzzer, but UBC held the five goal lead for the decision.

"There is still a chance, playoffs are still ahead and we can't back down. There is still another whole half of the season left and only two teams ahead of us, so we just have to beat two teams ahead in the standings to get into the playoffs" added Berzins. "It's not over, so we have to keep our heads high and practice hard over these next two weeks, and come back from Christmas better than ever."

Both teams will resume play in 2017. Dinos will play next at home against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, Jan. 7. 

- UC -