Thunderbirds move into first place in the conference with a 3-2 win over Calgary

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Calgary, AB – The UBC Thunderbirds extended its win streak to three games and moved into first place in the Canada West standings with a 3-2 win over Calgary Saturday afternoon at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary, AB. With the victory UBC improves to 7-1-2 on the season and have 22 points, one point better than Alberta (7-3-0) and Manitoba (7-2-1). After starting the year winning four of its first five games, the Dinos have now lost five straight games and fall to 4-3-3 on the season.

All the scoring came in the first period and after that Samantha Langford shut the door the rest of the way stopping all 20 shots in the final 40 minutes, including a penalty shot to preserve the victory for the Thunderbirds.

“We played a solid game this afternoon and a great team effort,” said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. “Sam (Langford) was solid again in net and gave us a chance to win. It is nice to have a healthy roster with everyone playing together.” 

The Dinos opened the scoring 4:47 into the game courtesy of Bronwyn Stevens, who potted her first goal of the season. UBC countered on the power play. Tatiana Rafter scored her sixth goal of the year to make it a 1-1 game. Rafter missed the Thunderbirds previous two game, prior to this weekend, due to injury. 

Madison Patrick scored her first career CIS goal just over six minutes later to put the visitors in front 2-1. That would spell the end of the day for Calgary goalie Carissa Fischer, who allowed two goals on five shots. She was replaced by Hayley Dowling. It didn’t make a difference early on as Rebecca Unrau scored her third goal of the season on the power play just under three minutes later to put the Thunderbirds ahead 3-1.

However, Jessyka Holt cut the lead to one before the period was out, beating Langford for her third goal of the season to make it a 3-2 game through 20 minutes of play. 

Neither team could find the back of the net the rest of the way as both goaltenders were perfect. Langford stopped all 20 shots over the final two periods, plus a penalty shot from Heather Berzins with just one second remaining in the second period. Dowling too was solid making 16 saves in the second and third periods combined.

In total Langford made 30 saves on the day to improve to 7-1-1 on the season. She has allowed just 13 goals against in nine games so far this season. 

Sarah Casorso finished the day with two assists.

UBC went 2-for-7 on the power play. They have the top ranked power play in the conference, operating at 25% efficiency. Calgary went 0-for-4. 

“The league is extremely competitive and anyone can win on any weekend so we need to enjoy this, but get ready for next weekend and keep working on our game,” said Thomas.

Next weekend should be an exciting two days of hockey as the Thunderbirds host the Alberta Pandas, who sit just one point back in the Canada West standings. Friday’s game is set for 7:00 pm, while Saturday will be an afternoon affair at 2:00 pm. Both games will be played at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.

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