Vancouver, BC – The UBC Thunderbirds women’s hockey team started 2015 off right with a impressive 3-1 victory over Mount Royal University Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. With the victory, the Thunderbirds picked up their ninth win of the season and snapped the team’s five game losing skid.
“It was nice to shake off the nerves and get a win,” said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. “We had gone a little longer then we would have liked with out a ‘w’, but hopefully this will give us the energy and confidence moving forward.”
UBC (9-4-4) dominated from start to finish, registering 14 shots a period for a 60 minute total of 42 shots, compared to just 14 shots total for the visitors. If it wasn’t for the solid play of Cougars netminder Jess Ross it could have been a completely different story. With the loss Mount Royal falls to 2-12-3.
Nicole Saxvik opened the scoring for UBC on the power play, potting her seventh goal of the year 11:35 into the opening frame. That lead however would not last long. Just 46 seconds later Sydney Laurin beat Danielle Dube for her second goal of the season, making it a 1-1 game through 20 minutes.
Fifth-year Nikola Brown-John broke a 1-1 tie with just under nine minutes remaining in the second period banging home a rebound after an initial shot from Devon Morrison. It was the third goal of the season for Brown-John. 2-1 is how things stood through 40 minutes. The Cougars managed just two shots on net in the period.
In the third period, the Thunderbirds continued to control the play firing shot after shot at Ross. Finally Tatiana Rafter tipped home a Morrison shot from the point for the insurance marker and a 3-1 win for UBC.
“It was a solid performance by the team tonight,” said Thomas. “It was good to see our group executing the areas we were working on during the week of practice, such as creating turnovers and getting a transition game going. We took a lot of their speed away and a lot of their opportunities away early on before they good even get inside our blue line which was key.”
Morrison and Rafter each finished with two points apiece.
Dube saw her first action of the season, making her first start since February 22, 2014. She only needed to make 13 saves for the win. Ross finished the night stopping 39 of the 42 shots she faced.
“Danielle got her feet wet tonight,” said Thomas. “Although she wasn’t really tested, she did make some key saves through traffic when it was a one goal game and needless to say it was nice to see her back in net.”
UBC went 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Cougars were 0-for-4.
These two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 pm at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.