By tim Huebsch (Sports Information Assistant)
November 9, 2013, VANCOUVER (ISN) – The Mount Royal Cougars put an end to the UBC Thunderbirds’ two-game winning streak Saturday afternoon by claiming a 2-0 win at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver.
A second-period goal by Brenden Turnbull proved to be the difference as Curtis Beech added an empty netter for the visitors. MRU’s Dalyn Flette backstopped the team to a shutout.
The Thunderbirds fall to 3-6-1 on the season dropping to sixth in the Canada West. The Cougars, going into Saturday tied with UBC, improve to 4-5-1 and sit in fourth as of this afternoon.
“We didn’t create enough offensive chances,” said UBC head coach Milan Dragicevic. “We didn’t compete hard enough in the tough areas of the ice and instead of battling down-low, tried to take shortcuts.”
Turnbull gave the Cougars the one-goal lead just past the halfway point of the second period making no mistake converting a cross-ice feed from Eric Galbraith. Jesse Tresierra was also credited with a helper on the play. The goal was Turnbull’s first of the season beating Matt Hewitt, who got his second start in as many games for the Thunderbirds.
Mount Royal’s Mike Brown left the game 4:48 into the second period with a lower-body injury after going down awkwardly in the defensive zone, and would not return.
Defenceman Beech, the Cougars captain, added the empty-netter, his first goal of the year, with under a minute to play to seal the victory for Mount Royal. Galbraith, who collected his second assist on the goal, finished with a plus two and fired six shots on Hewitt.
Hewitt was tested early and often as the Cougars put 40 shots on net, conceding only the one second-period goal. His counterpart, Flette finished with 24 saves highlighted by a spectacular blocker save on a UBC 2-on-1 midway through the third period. Saturday’s win marks the first shutout of the season for the Cougars netminder.
“Hewitt was good this afternoon,” added Dragicevic. “But our composure, power play and discipline weren’t there as we took some bad penalties. We have to work on scoring, three goals in a weekend series is not enough.”
The Thunderbirds penalty kill was perfect, including on a four-minute double minor in the third period. UBC has now successfully killed off its last 10 penalties.
Next weekend, the Thunderbirds will hit the road to face the Saskatchewan Huskies. UBC remains winless on the road and looks to end that streak next weekend in Saskatoon.
The Huskies boast two of the league’s top five leading scorers. Cole Wilson and Anthony Bardaro are tied for the UBC team lead with 11 points apiece. The games go Nov. 15-16, both at 5 p.m. PT.
Mt. Royal will play a home-and-home series against crosstown rivals, Calgary next weekend.