Kenneth Pittman, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds came back with a strong offensive showing Saturday, less than a day after suffering a season opening shutout loss, posting a 3-1 win over the visiting Lethbridge Pronghorns at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
As was the case in Friday night's opener, the 'Birds outshot the Pronghorns but this time were finally able to put the puck in the net and find themselves in the win column. UBC was led offensively by Hannah Clayton-Carroll who recorded two goals in the game.
"It was a better team effort all around, and we are learning as a young group how to put away teams and win those one goal games," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. "It was nice to see the response today."
The Thunderbirds (1-1) dominated early in the first period. However, much like the game on Friday, the Pronghorns (1-1) opened the scoring. Tricia Van varenbergh came streaking down the left side and was able to sneak the puck over 'Birds netminder Tory Micklash, marking her second goal in as many games.
The Birds bounced back a couple minutes later and evened up the score with their first goal of the season, getting the puck past Lethbridge's Jessica Lohues. It was an incredible individual effort by Clayton-Carroll, ending the Birds scoring drought at 69 minutes.
The second period saw the T-Birds take their first lead of the weekend. Second year forward Shay-Lee McConnell picked up the puck in the neutral zone off a Pronghorn turnover, carried it into the offensive end and potted it in the back of the net.
"We knew it was going to be tough coming in and we just had to stay positive and the team battled through it," said McConnell, reflecting on her teams' mindset after a tough loss the night before.
Clayton-Carroll added her second goal of the game six minutes into the final frame giving UBC some insurance.
"When she's moving her feet and her skill takes over she can really be dangerous and today she was," Thomas said of Clayton-Carroll. "We need the senior players to lead, they needed to be better and we challenged them on that today."
Micklash was outstanding for the 'Birds in the final period, as the third-year goaltender made a plethora of huge saves, securing the 3-1 victory.
UBC heads to Calgary next weekend for their first regular season road trip, facing the Mount Royal Cougars (1-1) Friday and Saturday. The Pronghorns head back to Lethbridge for their home opening weekend against the Regina Cougars (1-1).
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds