University of Calgary

T-Birds knock off Dinos to take women’s hockey conference title

UToday HomeMarch 4, 2013

By Lance Doucet

The Thunderbirds and Dinos will travel to Toronto where they will play in the national championship. Photo by David MollThe Thunderbirds and Dinos will travel to Toronto where they will play in the national championship. Photo by David MollFrom a single win season a year ago to Canada West Champions in 2013, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds used an all-round effort to dethrone the No. 2 University of Calgary Dinos with a 5-2 victory in Game 3 at Father David Bauer Arena on Sunday evening.

It's the first Canada West championship in history for the Thunderbirds, who improved from a 1-21-2 mark in 2011-12 to 17-7-4 this season, capping it off with the Catherwood Trophy as conference champs.

Friday night saw the Dinos take an early lead in the game and the series as they defeated the Thunderbirds 4-1 in Game 1. Despite being outshot 39-16, UBC was opportunistic on Saturday as they claimed a 5-4 win in double overtime to force Sunday's decisive match.

Both the Thunderbirds and Dinos will travel to Toronto where they will each play in the national championship. Calgary won the CIS crown last year, beating the Montreal Carabins in the national final.

Right from the beginning the Thunderbirds looked hungry as they searched for their first-ever conference title and managed to grab an early 1-0 lead. On their first power play at 4:59 of the first, fifth-year forward Kaitlin Imai deflected Emily Grainger's point shot behind Dinos netminder Amanda Tapp for her second of the playoffs.

Calgary responded at the 13:38 mark after some strong pressure in the UBC end. Assisted by Sarah Astle, Elana Lovell used a booming slap shot to beat Danielle Dube for her third of the post season, tying the game at one.

With the Dinos' penalty kill struggling, the Thunderbirds recaptured their lead with under two minutes left in the opening stanza. After being denied a potential goal because the net was dislodged, UBC filled the net on their next shift as Tatiana Rafter recorded her sixth goal of the playoffs with a hard shot from the hash marks.

Continuing their impressive play into the middle frame, the Thunderbirds netted two more tallies as they carried a 3-goal advantage into the final period. Nikola Brown-John wristed a shot from the blue line through a screened Tapp at the 13:15 mark.

The Thunderbirds added to their advantage at 17:54 as Rebecca Unrau eluded Tapp. Unrau's second of the playoffs was the end of Tapp's night as Jennifer Mallard replaced her between the pipes.

On the comeback trail, Calgary brought the game within two goals at the 10:58 mark of the third. Streaking in from the left side, Erika Mitschke lifted an attempt over the shoulder of Dube for her third marker in as many games.

Unfortunately for the Dinos, Mitschke's tally would be their final one of the game.

With Mallard pulled for an extra attacker, Imai put in her second of the game to seal the series for UBC.

"We pushed a little, but we weren't afraid enough to lose today," said Calgary head coach Danielle Goyette. "Credit to UBC - they never stopped. They went on the road last week, flew back home, then came here...we had an advantage, but we didn't take it.

"But it's not our last game. Now we have a chance to go to CIS - we really wanted this today, but it's in the past now and we have to refocus on how we get ready for the national championship."


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