By Tim Huebsch (Sports Information Assistant)
September 27, 2013, VANCOUVER – On a cool Friday evening under the lights, the No. 2 UBC Thunderbirds came away with a thrilling 3-2 victory over its Prairie rival, the Saskatchewan Huskies.
The Thunderbirds scored a late-game tally to break the deadlock extending the team’s winning streak to five games.
The Thunderbirds got off to a quick start in the first half thanks to first half goals from Navid Mashinchi and Reynold Stewart. The Huskies responded by bouncing back with two goals of their own thanks to strikes from Jordan Farahani and Brett Levis. Mashinchi was able to add his second of the game in the 87th minute burying the winner after a scramble in front of Huskies keeper Michal Bandula.
UBC was able to get on the board in the 16th minute after being awarded a penalty shot when Mashinchi was taken down in the 18-yard box. Goalkeeper Bandula made the initial save but Mashinchi made no mistake burying the rebound to give the Thunderbirds the early momentum.
Shortly after, in the 18th minute, Stewart gave the ‘Birds a two-goal cushion after putting away a header from a curling cross from teammate Milad Mehrabi for his fourth tally of the season.
The Huskies best chance in the first half came in the form of a penalty shot awarded to Garrett Peters after being brought down by UBC goalkeeper Chris Beck. Peters was denied as Beck made a diving save to keep the Huskies off the board.
Credit to the Huskies, however, as the team kept its composure entering the second half down two goals. Jordian Farahani and Brett Levis were able to level the game at two with strikes in the 57th minute and 66th minute, respectively. Farahani headed in a Mathew Gillott corner kick to give the Huskies some life. They continued to press offensively and were rewarded less than 10 minutes later. Levis tied the game when he took a pass in the UBC half, took a couple of strides and then wired a shot into the top shelf from 25 yards out to beat Beck.
Mashinchi gave the Thunderbirds the lead and ultimately the victory late in the game burying a shot off a mad scramble in front of the Huskies net. Mashinchi now has four goals on the season after his two-goal performance this evening.
Following the game, UBC head coach Mike Mosher praised the team’s ability to bounce back despite losing the momentum early in the second half.
“It’s nice to get the win at the end of the day but we were a little inconsistent at times,” said Mosher. “We knew they were a threat coming in but credit to the guys for bouncing back after the Huskies had comeback to tie the game to regain the momentum.”
Mosher also credited his goalkeeper for keeping the game close when the match could have gone either way.
“Saskatchewan took it to us for a period when they scored the two goals and Chris made a number of saves including one on a partial breakaway where we could have been down,” he said.
With the win, the Thunderbirds improve to 6-1-0 on the season while Saskatchewan falls to 4-3-0 after taking the loss.
The Thunderbirds are back in action Saturday evening against the Alberta Golden Bears with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. on David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium.
The Huskies will travel to Langley for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Trinity Western Spartans.