Ben Steiner, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER - The UBC Women's hockey team closed out their two game weekend series against the University of Calgary Dinos with a dominant 4-0 win Saturday afternoon at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbirds Sports Centre. The victory is the T-Birds' fifth straight win and third straight shutout.
Building off their 4-0 win on Friday night, the Thunderbirds came out firing on all cylinders in Saturday's rematch.
Tory Micklash started in net for UBC and made 15 stops for her second shutout in as many starts after backing up Amelia Boughn who got the goose egg the night before. Kira Wasylak made her first start of the season for the Dinos.
UBC opened the scoring seven minutes into the first period with a goal from Logan Boyd who finished off an exceptional two-on-one opportunity alongside Rylind MacKinnon. Following the goal,
UBC ran into some discipline troubles, picking up two penalties in quick fashion near the end of the period.
But the Thunderbirds' exceptional penalty kill stepped up to the task. Their PK unit has now killed off 14 of their last 15 shorthanded situations. UBC limited Calgary to just four shots in the opening frame and already looked to be on their way towards a fourth straight win.
The second period was a much quicker affair for both teams. The Dinos' Diane Hitchings showed some exceptional speed on the puck as she caused problems for UBC's defence. The change of pace favoured Calgary initially, but once UBC adjusted there was no going back.
The Thunderbirds' special teams got a chance again, and this time it was the power play finding success. MacKinnon added a goal to the assist she picked up earlier with an exceptional wrist shot from the slot on the advantage.
The T-Birds held a 2-0 lead after two periods, but the score could have been much higher if not for Wasylak's strong play in net.
The third continued the trend that had been shown throughout the first two periods. UBC maintained its possession based play as they continued to dominate in the offensive end. Wasylak did her best to thwart the attack but the 'Birds proved too much as they scored two more goals, from Hannah Clayton-Carroll and Emily Costales, leading them to the victory.
"Consistency is key when it comes to having a successful team throughout a season," said UBC Head Coach Graham Thomas, heralding his squad's consistent special teams following the game.
The win moves UBC into a tie for first place in the Canada West alongside the University of Alberta Pandas. Conveniently, the Thunderbirds take on the Pandas in a top of the table clash next week.
While UBC hosts the Pandas, Calgary now goes on to face the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns in a home and home series next weekend.
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds