Vancouver, BC – Last season Samantha Langford was the odd goaltender out in the UBC Thunderbirds battle between the pipes; this year she has taken over the number one job and is slated to make her eighth straight start Friday night as the Thunderbirds (5-1-2) are in Calgary to face the Dinos (4-1-3).
After playing in 18 games during her rookie season in 2011-12, Langford’s split time with Danielle Dube in her second year, playing all three games at the CIS National Championships and helping the Thunderbirds to a fifth place finish. Last year though was a different story. With the development of Danielle Lemon, Langford was relegated to third-string and played in just five games. Unwilling to settle for the occasional start, Langford put in a lot of work this summer in hopes of earning the top job.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming in this season,” said Langford. “I was fired up about coming back and eager to earn playing time, especially after such a frustrating season last year. I didn’t want that to happen again.”
After backing up the first game of the season, Langford got the call for the Thunderbirds in second game of the season and she went on to shutout the defending Canada West Champions from Saskatchewan. Since then she has not relinquished the net, making seven straight starts and posting an impressive record of 5-1-1 with a goals against average of 1.12 and a save percentage of 0.956% to go along with three shutouts.
“It feels pretty good because the team has so much confidence in me right now,” said Langford. “I just need to stick to my game, keep a level head and be ready each and every night.”
Calgary, which has lost three straight games, features four-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser, along with fellow Russian Olympian Iya Gavrilova, who leads the league in scoring with 13 points in eight games.
Both teams are coming off a league wide bye. Puck drop is set for 6:00 pm PST Friday night and 1:00 pm PST Saturday afternoon in Calgary.