Gideon Hill / UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER - In their second game of the 2019 calendar year, the UBC Thunderbirds (8-4-3-3) dropped a difficult 1-0 decision to the Mount Royal University Cougars (7-9-1-1) on Saturday afternoon at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. The difference for the visitors was a second period power play marker from Tianna Koo, who had a strong weekend for the Cougars with two points.
After UBC bested Mount Royal yesterday 2-1, they were looking to build off that, and partially did so with a strong opening period in which they fired six shots at Cougar netminder Emma Pincott, who was making her first start of the season. The most notable chance of those six shots came with less than 10 minutes to play in the opening period, as T-Birds forward Matea Fischer surged with the puck down the right wing from her own blueline to behind the visitor's net. She found fifth-year forward Emily Costales who's shot was well saved by Pincott, with the rebound kindly falling to goal scorer in yesterday's game Hannah Clayton-Carroll. Clayton-Carroll had part of the net to shoot at but put her shot just wide of the near side to keep the game scoreless heading into the second period. Mount Royal had four shots in that first period but UBC did well to keep the chances to a minimum.
MRU stepped it up in the second period beginning with defenceman Mackenzie Butz firing a seeing eye shot that redirected on the way to the net but it was turned aside by Tory Micklash made a nice save to keep the Cougars off the scoresheet. The T-Birds had a golden chance moments later as Logan Boyd sped past the Cougars defence and put a backhander on net that Pincott saved while no T-Bird was in the vicinity to push the rebound home. Moments later on the same sequence, Jaedon Cooke snapped a wrister from the slot that found the crossbar.
Like yesterday's game, all the scoring came in the second period but this time the Cougars would draw first blood on one of numerous power plays they had in the game. Late in the frame Kate Scidmore cycled the puck down low to Tatum Amy who brought the puck above the goal line and fed a beautiful net front pass to the streaking Koo who deposited it into a yawning cage for a 1-0 lead. It was Koo's second of the season from Amy and Scidmore at 17:02. UBC had a late power play to end the second period but were unable to convert on it.
Despite the home sides best effort in the third period, UBC would drop this game 1-0 losing their first game in three outings and dropping a game to the Mount Royal Cougars for the first time since the outset of the 2012-13 season, a winning streak that lasted 15 games.
Tory Micklash stopped 10 of 11 shots she faced in this game, meanwhile Emma Pincott stopped all 21 shots she faced to earn her first win of the year. UBC were 0-6 on the power play meanwhile the Cougars capitalized going 1-7.
"We didn't come ready to play, their effort was okay but we did not execute our game plan," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. "I thought we did better in the third, but we just got frustrated and took some penalties we maybe should not have that allowed them to win this game."
Next up, UBC visit Alberta in a matchup with the top team in Canada West, puck drop is set for 6 p.m. PT. Friday, January 11th at Clarke Drake Arena. Mount Royal host their next games, next weekend in another battle against another a top three team as they take on the Manitoba Bisons.
PHOTO: Rich Lam / UBC Thunderbirds