Jeff Sargeant, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – It took until the third period but the UBC Thunderbirds finally got the puck into the Regina net for a 1-0 win, sweeping the season series over the Cougars to head into the Canada West playoffs on a high note.
Ireland Perrott scored her third of the weekend on the power play nine minutes into the final frame for what turned out to be the game winner while graduating senior Amelia Boughn made 22 saves on the same afternoon she and five other Thunderbirds were honoured ahead of their final regular season game.
"It ended up taking quite a long time but we stayed calm and kept putting pucks on net and sticking to the game plan and we were able to get the power play to pull through again," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas after his team was able to give their graduating seniors the best possible send off. "It's easy to get caught up in the emotions, these are six special seniors who have done a lot for the program and it was a special night for them and their families."
UBC (14-5-4-5) had numerous scoring opportunities in the first period, twice hitting iron. Kenzie Robinson was the first to hit the post as she deflected a long shot from Sarah Thon less then five minutes into the game. Then in the waning moments of the period, second year forward Shay-Lee McConnell put a shot on net that deflected into the corner.
Despite the T-Birds' pressure in the opening frame, Regina (9-14-2-3) netminder Morgan Baker stifled UBC on countless occasions to keep the game scoreless.
With the game still awaiting a goal well into the third, UBC finally beat Baker when Perrott potted a Logan Boyd rebound home. Ashley McFadden got the other assist on Perrott's fifth of the season. The goal gave UBC a special teams tally for the sixth straight game with their seventh power play marker in the last three.
The Cougars had a good chance on their second power play of the afternoon with five minutes to go in the game, as Emily Middagh let one go from the right point, but her shot hit Boughn's blocker side post, the final real chance of the game for the Cougars.
Boughn stopped all 22 shots she faced for her fifth win and third shutout of the season in her last regular season Canada West start, while Baker steered aside 41 of 42 taking the loss.
The focus for both the T-Birds and Cougars now quickly shifts to the playoffs. UBC will host either Regina or Mount Royal for a Canada West quarter-final starting next Friday night, pending out of town results later Saturday.
"It doesn't matter who we play, we just need to be ready to play our game," added Thomas. "We're excited about it, it's playoffs and it's the best time of the year."
Should Regina finish ahead of Mount Royal in the standings, it will be MRU heading to Vancouver next weekend while Regina would face Saskatchewan.
PHOTO: Jeff Sargeant/UBC Thunderbirds