Vancouver, BC – The women’s hockey team will face off against the University of Regina Cougars (10-8-2) this weekend. The Thunderbirds (12-4-4) have had a hot start to 2015, with four wins in a row to their name since the winter break. UBC clinched a playoff spot with their sweep of the University of Saskatchewan last weekend, and they return to the prairie province this Friday, this time to do battle against the Cougars.
“We need to prepare for a physical battle out there,” says UBC head coach Graham Thomas. “Our goal is to keep our emotions in check and stay in control.”
This will be the second time the Thunderbirds have faced the University of Regina this season: UBC split with the Cougars the last time they clashed, rallying from an OT loss for a 2-0 shutout victory. This time around, Regina are sure to be hungry to snap their five-game losing streak.
Cougars forward Kylie Gavelin is the team’s top scorer, and is fifth in the conference in goals thanks to her 10 goals so far this season. The team also boasts several defensemen who often find the back of the net, as three of their top four scorers are defenders. Triston Riemer, Alexis Larson and Carleen Meszaros will all be forces to be reckoned on both sides of the ice this weekend.
The Thunderbirds are looking to carry their momentum forward from their impressive performance last weekend. Tatiana Rafter and Rebecca Unrau, a Saskatchewan native herself, scored two goals each for the Thunderbirds last Saturday to contribute to the flashy offensive output. UBC will be looking for leadership from their veterans to inspire another great team performance.
Both sides can expect strong goaltending performances as well. UBC’s SamanthaLangford has been an anchor for the Thunderbirds and has nine wins under her belt. Meanwhile, the Cougars often split their two talented goalies: Toni Ross and Jennifer Schmidt.
“It’s all about keeping our discipline and focus,” says Thomas. “At the end of the day, we just need to play our game.”
Both Friday and Saturday’s match-ups will get underway at 5 p.m. PST. You can catch the action via live stream at canadawest.tv.