Winnipeg, MB – A 2:06 lapse in the second period was the difference Saturday night as the UBC Thunderbirds (7-9-3) lost 3-1 to the Manitoba Bisons (9-10-0) in Winnipeg.
Leading 1-0 early in the second period, the Thunderbirds surrendered three goals in 2:06 and Bisons goaltender Deven Dubyk did the rest, stopping 35 of 36 shots he faced to help Manitoba to a big 3-1 victory to kickoff 2015.
The T-Birds were dominant to start the game, preventing the Bisons from getting a shot on goal for the first five minutes of the game and outshooting the home side 14-5. Penalty troubles for the Bisons allowed UBC to maintain possession of the puck early in the first, and forcing Dubyk into action early and often.
The visitors finally cracked Dubyk on their second power play opportunity of the night, as Manraj Hayer jumped on a rebound and stuffed it into the Bison net. Manitoba looked poised to respond with their own power play in the final minute of the period, but a high sticking call to Aaron Lewadniuk nullified the threat. UBC led 1-0 after 20 minutes of action.
After UBC failed to capitalize on their power play to start the second period, Manitoba’s offence sprung to life. Chad Robinson tied the game for Manitoba, scoring after a mad scramble for a loose puck right at the top of the UBC crease at 5:22.
Just over a minute later, Brett Dubar made a nice touch on a Dustin Bruyere pass to spring in alone on a breakaway, beating Eric Williams top shelf to put Manitoba in the lead. Less than a minute later, Brock Sutherland caught the T-birds napping and snapped home Manitoba’s third goal of the period, with Jesse Paradis and Paulson Depape picking up assists. The frenzy of goals swung momentum Manitoba’s way, as the teams headed into the locker room with the Bisons up 3-1 through two periods of play
The Bison men’s hockey team (9-10-0) started 2015 off the right way, as they defeated the UBC Thunderbirds (7-9-3) 3-1 at home on Jan. 3. The Bisons scored all three of their goals over a span of three minutes in the second, which proved to be the difference in a hard fought game. Nine Bisons picked up points in the win, with goals coming from Chad Robinson, Brett Dudar and Brock Sutherland.
UBC upped the intensity to start the third as they tried to mount a comeback, but were unable to find the back of the net. Dubyk made 14 saves in the final frame to earn his third victory over the Thunderbirds this season, allowing just three goals total in the three games.
Williams suffered the loss in net for UBC making 20 saves on the night.
“We had our best first period of the season,” said UBC head coach Tyler Kuntz. “However we followed it up with an unfortunate two and half minutes in the second period and then in the third period we just couldn’t find the net.”
The win bumped the Bisons into fourth place in the extremely tight Canada West standings with 18 points, UBC falls to sixth place with 17 points. The two teams will be back at it tomorrow at Wayne Fleming Arena for the rematch, with puck drop scheduled for 11:00 am PST.