Jeff Sargeant/UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds (20-3-3-1) took 53 minutes to find the back of the net but Logan Boyd's eighth of the season was all that was needed for a 1-0 win over the visiting Mount Royal Cougars (9-13-1-4) Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Amelia Boughn made 13 saves for her fourth shutout of the season, the third straight shutout on home ice for the T-Birds.
Offence was at a premium all night as the teams each managed just four shots on goal through the first 20 minutes with UBC holding a 9-5 edge after the second period.
"Mount Royal plays a really structured, defensive system and it was frustrating us," admitted UBC head coach Graham Thomas.
"We got caught in that and so in the third period we needed to increase our battle and compete level and play smarter."
The T-Birds came out for the final frame with purpose dominating possession in the offensive zone which helped draw a power play midway through the period. The 'Birds couldn't finish with the man-advantage but just seconds after it expired Boyd found a loose puck from a scramble at the top of the crease for her fourth game winning goal of the season. Kelly Murray and Kathleen Cahoon picked up the assists.
The Cougars earned a late power play of their own with just 2:22 remaining and pulled Emma Pincott for the 6-on-4 advantage but couldn't beat Boughn.
The Thunderbirds finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and killed off all four Mount Royal chances.
After securing first place in the conference for the first time in team history last weekend, UBC's 23rd win Friday night tied the Canada West record for single-season victories with a chance at making league history in Saturday's regular season finale.
Saturday will also see the T-Birds honour eight graduating players ahead of their final regular season game. Kelly Murray, Katie Zinn, Haneet Parhar, Nicole Saxvik, Jenna Carpenter-Boesch, Kirsten Toth, Emily O'Neill, and captain Stephanie Schaupmeyer will all be recognized prior to puck drop in front of friends, family, and supporters.
"It's going to be an emotional game and a special game so we have to make sure that we come ready," said Thomas.
"They've set so much history and have set almost every team record. It couldn't have set up any better for what will be a special game for our seniors to be able to put that feather in their cap."
Puck drop Saturday is 4 p.m. PT at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
IMAGE CREDIT: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds