Max Sturley, Dinos Communications
CALGARY – On the heels of a tough weekend against Lethbridge, the University of Calgary Dinos lead by Rachel Paul and Delaney Frey topped the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 2-1, Friday evening at the Father David Bauer Arena, snapping a seven game skid in the process.
UBC got things rolling early on as Logan Boyd found the game's first scoring chance. After dancing through the neutral zone, Boyd closed in on Dinos goaltender Kelsey Roberts, but Roberts denied the chance with her right leg.
Two minutes later, the Dinos went to the power play following a Shay-Lee McConnell tripping penalty. Defender Laine Grace found the post on the advantage after a point shot, but the Dinos were unable to convert. Moments after the penalty expired, McConnell was sprung on a break in which Roberts again stopped the golden chance.
The scoreless game continued into the second, with the both squads trading chances throughout. Dinos forward Brooke Dennett had two quality looks, including a harsh wrister off the mask of UBC goaltender Tory Micklash. The Thunderbirds countered with a squandered shorthanded 2-on-0 rush midway through the period, as Kenzie Robinson and Brie Bellerive failed to register a shot on Roberts.
Dinos forward Rachel Paul, fresh off a dominant weekend against the Pronghorns, opened the scoring late in the second. Off a drop-pass from linemate Delaney Frey, Paul scooped up the puck in the high-slot before going against the grain past Micklash making it 1-0. The snipe was her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
The Dinos held the one goal lead entering the third period, and came out flying looking for their second goal. Dennett set up an onrushing Sara Craven, who was robbed by Micklash, making the best of her 10 saves.
The persistence of the Dinos paid off, as Frey doubled the Dinos lead five minutes into the period. Off a faceoff, Frey collected the puck before navigating to the high slot, where she fired a wrist shot that deflected high into the air off Micklash's glove before rolling into the yawning cage.
"I wasn't expecting it to go in," said Frey on her third goal of the season.
"I just shot it and hoped for the best."
Following the 2-0 goal, the ice was tilted in favour of UBC. With under five minutes to go, Roberts stymied Mathea Fischer for the best of her 30 saves. Roberts managed to go cross-crease where Fischer on a wide-open, backdoor feed, couldn't beat the Dinos netminder, keeping the deficit at two.
The Thunderbirds managed to cut the lead to one, as Emily Costales scored off a scramble with 44 seconds to go. Despite another push from the opposition, the Dinos held strong defensively, escaping with a gutsy 2-1 victory.
"I had a little flashback to the weekend before," said Roberts on the team holding off the Thunderbirds late in the game.
"We were playing a good game all game, and I knew my team would shut them down after that goal, and they did."
These two teams will battle again tomorrow at 2 p.m.