Gritty effort earns Thunderbirds a big win in Calgary

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Calgary, AB – The UBC Thunderbirds women’s hockey team improved to 6-1-2 on the season with a gritty 4-3 win over Calgary (4-2-3) Friday night. 

Coming off bye week UBC was opportunistic offensively and a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill to keep the Dinos in check and come away with a victory despite being outshot 27-11.

After a scoreless opening period, the Thunderbirds got themselves into penalty trouble taking three straight minors int he first two minutes. Calgary had a two-man advantage for over a minute but were unable to capitalize with open ice

The Thunderbirds would strike first with five minutes left in the second period. Katie Zinn beat Hayley Dowling on the power play for her first career CIS goal, giving UBC a 1-0 lead.

The Dinos wasted no time tying the game up just under a minute later when Megan Grenon snuck in from the point to put a loose puck from Iya Gavrilova past Samantha Langford to tie the game at 1-1.

Then it turned into the Nikola Brown-John show. She scored back to back goals 17 seconds apart to vault the Thunderbirds in front 3-1 through 40 minutes of play.

In the third period, Gavrilova, the Canada West leading scorer, cut the lead to one with her eighth goal of the season just 2:13 into the final frame. However, Nicole Saxvik would restore UBC’s two goal lead when she beat Carissa Fischer, who replaced Dowling in the Calgary net, high on the blocker side to make it 4-2.

Erika Mitschke scored a shorthanded breakaway goal with just under three minutes left to once again cut the lead to one, but Langford shut the door the rest of the way to help the Thunderbirds earn the 4-3 win. 

“It was a gritty character win tonight,” said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. “We played really well at times especially in the third period. Sam (Langford) was solid again. It was great to see (Katie) Zinn score her first CIS goal and Nikola (Brown-John) score her first two goals of the year. We have a short turn around for tomorrow’s game, need to get rested up and refocused to play 60 minutes tomorrow.” 

Langford, making her eighth straight start for UBC, stopping 24 of the 27 shots she faced for her sixth win of the season.

Calgary went 0-for-6 on the power play, while UBC went 1-for-4.

These two teams will be back at it tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 pm PST at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary.

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