Jeff Sargeant/UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds women's hockey team (3-1) scored twice in the third period earning a 3-2 win over the visiting Calgary Dinos (0-3-1) at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre Saturday afternoon earning the weekend sweep.
It was the second comeback victory in as many days for the T-Birds who tied the game at 2 midway through the third before Mairead Bast scored the game winner on the power play with just 2:03 remaining as she fired a hard wrist shot through traffic and into the back of the net.
"It showed the strength of our team that we rose to the occasion," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. "Anyone can step up on our team, our scoring can come from anywhere. It was really good to see a team effort and great teams find a way to win those games."
The game mirrored Friday's 4-1 T-Birds victory in many ways as once again the Dinos opened scoring early in the first.
Sara Craven shot a rebound from in tight at the 1:19 mark past Tory Micklash, who made her second straight start for UBC.
The Dinos added to their lead, scoring their first power-play goal of the current campaign 10:35 into the second when Madison Turk earned her first of the season. Standing deep in the right faceoff circle, she took a Cheyann Newman pass from behind the goal line and quickly fired towards the UBC net. The puck bounced off a Thunderbirds player into the net.
But the T-Birds got the response they were looking for on the very next shift when Nicole Saxvik jammed home a loose puck at the side of the crease for her third goal on the year with Cassandra Vilgrain and Alexa Ranahan picking up the assists.
Saxvik finished the game with a goal and an assist and now leads the T-Birds with eight points through the first four games of the season.
UBC once again owned the third period earning the tying goal at 9:37 when Haneet Parhar made a beautiful backhand, no-look pass from below the goal line right in front to Mathea Fischer, who made no mistake for her first of the season.
The game was a penalty-filled affair as UBC finished the game 1-for-8 on the power play while the Dinos went 1-for-6.
The Thunderbirds out shot the Dinos 22-16 as Micklash made 14 saves for her second consecutive win.
"She showed a lot of resolve and mental toughness and composure and made some big saves for us again when we needed them," said Thomas.
For Bast, the game winner was her second goal in as many nights and the first-year defenceman is glad to be able to contribute at both ends of the ice.
"To make a difference already is pretty huge and I'm honoured," said Bast. "To come back as a team and play that well and fight against some penalty troubles is pretty awesome."
The second period alone featured six Calgary power plays but the T-Birds penalty kill stepped up killing off two separate 5-on-3 situations.
"The energy on the bench picked up and it was a bit of a snowball effect and everybody wanted to do it for each other," said Bast.
The win improves the Thunderbirds to 3-1 in conference play with UBC hitting the road for the first time next weekend to face the Alberta Pandas Friday and Saturday in Edmonton.
But first up for the T-Birds is an exhibition matchup with the Chinese women's national hockey team Monday night, October 17.
Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. PT at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sport Centre.
The next series for the Dinos will be a home-and-home Crowchild Classic matchup against the Mt. Royal Cougars next weekend.
IMAGE CREDIT: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds