Thunderbirds sweep Pandas following double OT win

Thunderbirds sweep Pandas following double OT win

EDMONTON – It took two overtime periods, but the UBC Thunderbirds were able to skate away from Edmonton with a thrilling 3-2 win over the University of Alberta Pandas hockey team, Saturday afternoon at Clare Drake Arena.

Logan Boyd scored the winner 11 seconds into the second overtime period, which was her second of the game, while Mairead Bast scored the other goal for the victorious Thunderbirds. Abby Benning and Autumn MacDougall scored for Alberta.

With the win, UBC (5-1-0) captures five of a possible six points from the Pandas, sweeping Alberta following the 2-0 win the previous night. Alberta, meanwhile, drop their fourth-straight decision – three of which have come in extra time – descending their record to 2-2-2.

Similar to Game 1, the visiting side opened the scoring midway through the first period. Bast, who received the puck at the point from Canada West point leader Nicole Saxvik, wired a shot from distance past a screened Dayna Owen to give UBC the 1-0 edge.

Alberta, who entered the game not having a lead for over 180 minutes, evened the game up in the second. On the Pandas first powerplay chance of the night, MacDougall was able to pot in the rebound after the initial Alex Poznikoff shot was stopped for her team-leading third of the season.

Both teams played a fairly even 40 minutes, with the game tied a one, and the shots favouring the Pandas 14-12.

UBC came out firing on all cylinders to start the third, absolutely dominating the possession, hemming the Pandas in their own zone for long periods of time. Despite being outplayed by a heavy margin, the Pandas earned their first lead of the game halfway through the third. Benning's shot from an odd angle ricocheted off a UBC defender in front, and past a helpless Tory Micklash.

It wouldn't take the visitors long to even the game, however, as Boyd scored her first of the night one minute later. On yet another deflection, Cassandra Vilgrain's shot from the top of the circle was tipped in by Boyd in front of the Alberta crease to tie the game 2-2, and send it into OT.

Neither team scored in the first OT period, setting up an incredibly quick three-on-three second period. Vilgrain grabbed the puck off the opening faceoff, raced in on a quick two-on-one, missing the net with a bullet shot, but Boyd quickly fired the rebound past a slow-to-react Owen.

Alberta will look to respond from the early season adversity next weekend, as they play the Mount Royal Cougars in a home-and-home series, with the Pandas hosting the Cougars on Saturday at Clare Drake Arena.

Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics