Cougars rally to beat Thunderbirds in overtime

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Rebecca Unrau


Vancouver, BC – The UBC Women’s Hockey team were narrowly defeated by the Unversity of Regina Cougars 3-2 in overtime Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. 

The Cougars rallied from a two goal deficit, scoring a pair of goals in the third period to tie the game at 2-2 and send it into overtime.  Brooklyn Moskowy scored the winner in extra time for the Cougars. All three Regina goals were scored on the power play. 
 
The first period saw lots of actions, as the Thunderbirds were given multiple opportunities to let their power play shine. On three occasions, the Thunderbirds found themselves on a 5-3 power play. To their credit, Regina managed to kill the first two, but the Thunderbirds finally capitalised on the  third occasion. Captain Sarah Casorso‘s shot from the blue line found the back of the net with 3:07 left in the first period. Nicole Saxvik picked up the assist on a nice feed to make the score 1-0 for the home team.
 
The second period was scoreless, but the action was back on in full force in the third period. Right off the top, Rebecca Unrau scored 12 seconds into the period to put the Thunderbirds in front 2-0.

Regina responded almost immediately however, as just shortly after the goal Unrau took a penalty and Regina capitalized on their power play with their first goal of the game 47 seconds into the period. Forward Bailey Brandon got a pass from Tori Head and brought Regina within one goal of the T-Birds.
 
It was another special teams effort which lifted the Cougars into a tie, as once again a 5-on-3 was taking place, this time with UBC on the defensive. Carleen Meszaros scored after receiving a string of passes from her teammates Tristan Reimer and Stephanie Sawchuk. With this, the two teams headed to 4-on-4 overtime.
 
The overtime action saw chances for both sides, however in keeping with pattern of the rest of the evening, at 3:38 a penalty was called against the T-Birds and the Cougars found themselves back on the power play. In the end, this would make the difference as with 45 seconds left in the OT period, Regina’s Moskowy scored from in close on a pass from Reimer, who got her second helper on the night.
 
One of the most notable aspects of the game was the sheer number of penalties which were called on both sides. UBC was called for nine minor infractions, while Regina was called for 14. UBC only managed to capitalize on 1-of-14 opportunites on the man advantage. 
 
When asked how this affected their performance this evening, UBC assistant coach Mike Sommer had this reply: “You, know, you can’t focus too much on the penalties, and they were going both ways. But for the most part our penalty kill was pretty good tonight. We really showed a lot of resilience as a group to show up and to not really let that bother us.”
 
Sommers also said he was confident that his team would show up ready to play hard again tomorrow. “Our focus tomorrow night is to go out with the Thunderbirds hockey approach. That’s using our speed, getting pucks to the net and working as a team and I think if we can do that things will go smoothly.”
 
UBC outshot Regina 40-32 on the evening, and UBC’s goalie Samantha Langford made 29 saves. Cougars netminder Jennifer Schmidt made 38 saves for the win.
 
UBC, now 4-1-2 on the year, are in third place in the conference with 13 points. Regina, with 10 points on the season so far now have a record of 4-2-1.
 
 The two teams will be back in action again tomorrow night at 7:00 pm at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.

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