In a rematch of Friday afternoon’s contest, the Saskatchewan Huskies picked up a 3-1 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds Saturday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, recording the weekend sweep and gaining ground in their hunt for a top two finish in the conference and the first-round bye that comes with it.
Much like Friday’s game, UBC came out flying and had numerous scoring opportunities in the opening frame but were unable to solve Saskatchewan netminder Camryn Drever.
Following a spell of some back and forth exciting hockey, the Huskies opened the scoring on a strange play. Kennedy Brown got past a Thunderbird behind the net and fed one in front to Sophie Lalor who was initially denied by T-Birds netminder Danielle Wierenga but followed her own rebound to score, helped with some fortuitous bounces.
The ‘Birds came out strong to start the middle frame and this time they were rewarded. Midway through the frame, a defensive zone draw win by the Thunderbirds allowed them to quickly move up ice as Jaedon Cooke brought it inside the Huskies zone and fired one towards goal that beat Drever to tie the game.
Both teams traded power play opportunities in the second but were unable to connect, paving the way for an entertaining finish with the game tied at one.
Saskatchewan were able to score early in the third to take the 2-1 lead. Shyan Elias sniped one from the slot to open the game up slightly.
Six minutes later, Abby Shirley won a race for the puck and was rewarded for her efforts as she finished off a nice play to extend her teams’ lead to 3-1.
Wierenga was pulled in favour of the extra attacker in the late stages of the period and despite a flurry of UBC chances, the ‘Birds were unable to cut into the deficit.
“I thought UBC outplayed us for much of the game, we were fortunate to get a couple of bounces and come away with the win,” said Saskatchewan head coach Steve Kook. “Winning in this building is hard to do, and getting six points with Calgary winning too was important for us.”
Next up, the Thunderbirds remain at home to face the Lethbridge Pronghorns next Friday and Saturday while the Huskies will look to build on their current win streak when they take on the Bisons in Winnipeg.