Alyssa Etsell, Bison Sports
WINNIPEG—An unassisted top-shelf goal by Josh Connolly just one minute into double OT netted the UBC Thunderbirds a 4-3 win in an intense clash against the Manitoba Bisons on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 17) at the Wayne Fleming Arena.
UBC led in shots with 35 to Manitoba's 28.
As it was Friday, the second was a crucial period in the end result and UBC acquired three goals in just minutes.
"It feels pretty good, we were so under-manned before the game so we played three lines and the guys really competed and battled hard," said Thunderbirds head coach Sven Butenschon. "It was two even teams and we were just lucky to come out on top."
In overtime, the Herd had major chances, but none could get past Patrick Dea.
"We found a way to come back and tie it up in the third and outplayed them and out-chanced them in the third and in overtime," said Bisons head coach Mike Sirant. "We had a little lag in the second period but we were resilient."
A lone Bison goal in the third tied the game at three. Jeremey Leipsic buried a barrel pass from Mackenzie Dwyer with just over twelve minutes left in the game. An assist also went to Dawson Martin.
After being down 2-0 heading into the second period, UBC headed into the third up 3-2.
"Just simplify things. We're good when we're simple. Get pucks deep and don't make any hope plays," Butenschon said of what he told the team in the first intermission. "We had a great second period last night and I just asked them to do the same today."
The Thunderbirds wasted no time in the second, with Tyler Sandhu putting up UBC's first tally just 22 seconds into the period. Austin Glover and Maxwell James assisted on the goal. The visiting team's second goal came minutes later when a James' shot from the point ripped right into the top shelf. The assist on the goal went to Glover.
A third T-Birds goal: a clean James wrist shot from the point sailed right past Dasan Sydora's pads. Assists went to Devan Fafard and Glover; the goal put UBC into the lead for the first time in the game with a score heading into the third of 3-2. Manitoba took Sydora out and put Byron Spriggs back between the pipes.
Just under fifteen minutes into the first period, the Thunderbirds caught a tripping penalty, leading to a Bisons power play. The home team spent the man advantage peppering Dea, racking up almost ten shots on net. Seconds after the power play ended, a scramble in front of the net chalked the first goal of the game. Bison Liam Bilton chipped the puck past Dea, with help from Keaton Jameson and Leipsic.
Both teams played with fire in their blood in the first, an energy in their play not present in the previous day's game. With Nick Zajac at his side, Zach Franko made a drive for the net with a pass from Keaton Jameson. Franko slid the puck to Zajac right in front of the crease and Zajac netted a goal, sending the Bisons into the second period up by two.
Up next for Manitoba: they'll travel to take on the Saskatchewan Huskies on Nov. 23. Puck drops at 7 p.m. CST. UBC will play at home against the Regina Cougars on the 23rd, that game starts at 7 p.m. PST. You can catch both games live online on CanadaWest.TV.