Kenneth Pittman, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER - The UBC Thunderbirds opened their weekend series against the visiting Calgary Dinos with a convincing 4-0 win, highlighted by stellar goaltending and an early offensive push Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Fifth-year goaltender Amelia Boughn made 20 saves for her first shutout of the season and the second straight for the 'Birds who improve to 3-1-1 on the season.
"This is one of our best starts on a Friday night, so we can take a lot of positives," UBC head coach Graham Thomas said after the game. "Tory (Micklash) and Amelia are on a nice 1-2 punch kind of roll and we're really happy with how they are playing."
The Thunderbirds opened scoring six minutes in thanks to Ireland Perrott. The second-year forward netted her first of the season capping off a tremendous solo effort which proved to be the only offence UBC needed.
With exactly one minute to go in the opening frame, Ashley McFadden extended the Birds' lead to two, capitalizing on UBC's first power play of the game.
The 'Birds continued their offensive onslaught in the second period as they controlled the puck for the majority of the frame, limiting the Dinos to just 2 shots. But a strong performance by Calgary goaltender Kelsey Roberts kept her team in the game turning away all Thunderbird opportunities.
The Dinos remained in the contest, thanks in large part to Roberts, until UBC tacked on two empty net goals, putting the finishing touches on the shutout win.
"We need to tidy up some defensive chances, Calgary had some grade A chances where Amelia stood tall," Thomas said of improvements he needs to see from his team in Saturday's rematch.
After dropping their first game of the season, the 'Birds have now won four straight and sit just one point back of the Alberta Pandas for first in the conference.
"We are just trying to focus on not letting our highs be too high and our lows be to low, it's all about consistency," said Boughn following her eighth career shutout.
UBC outshot the Dinos 40-20 as the visitors fall to 0-4-0-1. The two face off in the second game of the weekend series Saturday afternoon at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, with puck drop scheduled for 2:00 p.m. PT.
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds