Jeff Sargeant, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – Hannah Clayton-Carroll scored the hat trick for the UBC Thunderbirds who connected four times on the power play to roll the visiting Regina Cougars 6-1 Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
The 'Birds (13-5-4-5) led 3-1 after two periods and while the Cougars (9-13-2-3) pushed back early in the third, it was all UBC from then on as the T-Birds tacked on three more for their second straight win and fifth in their last six while Tory Micklash stopped 15 shots to earn her 12th victory on the year.
After a fairly even start, Ireland Perrott opened scoring for the T-Birds nine minutes in, picking up a rebound off a Logan Boyd shot off the rush. Boyd made a beautiful toe-drag past a Regina defenceman before firing the puck on Jane Kish. Madison Patrick picked up the second assist.
Three minutes later, Clayton-Carroll scored her first of the night and eighth of the season on the power play, poking a Mathea Fischer rebound in to give UBC a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Cougars got on the board midway through the second when a Shaelyn Vallotton shot from the point right off a draw was tipped by Elise Endicott and got past Micklash.
Regina got into penalty trouble later in the frame with the T-Birds finding themselves on a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage which UBC used to restore their two-goal lead. Clayton-Carroll fired a shot from the slot that was stopped by Kish but the veteran forward picked up her own rebound for her second of the night.
The Cougars had four minutes of power play time early in the third after T-Birds captain Celine Tardif was called for a double-minor, but they only tested Micklash a couple times and then took themselves off the power play thanks to a cross-checking call.
Clayton-Carroll gave the 'Birds the three-goal lead finishing off a beautiful centering pass from Fischer at the 9:35 mark. Just 41 seconds later Perrott scored her second of the game and fourth of the season off yet another perfect centring feed, this time from Jaedon Cooke.
With the rout on, UBC added another with eight minutes remaining. Boyd cut to the middle and found Emily Costales who deflected in her seventh of the season as the T-Birds put up six goals for the first time since December of 2016.
"Our special teams have been excellent and our power play with four goals, it's great it's happening right when it needs to be happening at the end of the season," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. It's good for our confidence and some of our players who had been a bit snake bitten of late. It was great to see them find the back of the net."
UBC finished the game 4-for-7 on the power play while the Cougars failed to score on four chances. The 'Birds outshot the visitors 28-16 including a 9-4 margin in the third.
Fischer, Boyd and Rylind MacKinnon each had two assists.
The T-Birds will go for the season series sweep over the Cougars Saturday afternoon when UBC honours their six graduating seniors in a game that could also determine whether or not Regina is right back at Point Grey next weekend for a Canada West quarter-final. The 'Birds are locked in third place but Regina and Mount Royal remain tied for fifth heading into the final day of the regular season. Puck drop at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre is 2 p.m. PT.
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds