Jeff Sargeant/UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – It wasn't at all the home opener the UBC Thunderbirds (1-2-0) had planned falling 6-1 to the visiting Calgary Dinos (2-0-1) at Father Bauer Arena Friday night.
The Dinos scored three times in the first, once more in the second and twice in the third, including a short-handed goal, in a dominant effort.
"We have to look in the mirror," said UBC head coach Sven Butenschon. "Coaches, players, everyone. I think we came out pretty good, we were jacked up for our home opener but once it started to slide on us we couldn't contain our composure and then they just kept coming and coming."
The 'Birds found themselves down 1-0 eight minutes into the first after Luke Harrison scored his first of the season. But UBC responded less than a minute later when Tyler Sandhu pounced on a rebound in traffic at the side of the net for his first goal as a Thunderbird.
Unfortunately for the T-Birds the momentum quickly swung back in Calgary's favour and stayed there permanently.
Down 4-1 after two, UBC had a strong start to the third after killing off the Dinos' sixth power play of the game. The 'Birds had some solid time in the offensive zone but couldn't finish while Calgary did a good job of clogging up lanes and clearing rebounds.
After surviving the T-Birds' push, Cain Franson gave the visitors a four-goal lead scoring short handed with eight minutes remaining when he roofed the puck just under the cross bar for his first of the season to put the final nail in UBC's coffin.
"We lost our team structure," said Butenschon who felt the 'Birds were their own worst enemy Friday night.
"If it's a big game like a home opener there can be a tendency to get away from your comfort zone and you start to try a little too hard and you get out of position and try to do things yourself instead of doing things that make you successful playing a team game, a smart game, getting pucks low and not making it easy on them. I think it was just mental today."
Calgary outshot the 'Birds 34-22 and finished 1-for-8 on the power play while UBC failed to score on four chances.
The Thunderbirds do have the benefit of a quick turnaround with a rematch against the Dinos on Saturday afternoon.
"The good news is these guys have a chance to redeem themselves and we'll see what we can do tomorrow," said Butenschon.
Puck drop at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre is set for 2 p.m. PT.
PHOTO BY: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds