Women’s hockey splits weekend against Spartans in overtime

This weekend, UBC women’s hockey played the Trinity Western University Spartans in a home-and-home series, where penalties made the difference as the Thunderbirds walked away with a 3–2 overtime loss and a 4–3 overtime win.

Thursday’s game in Langley started slow. It took 15 minutes before the Spartans got their first of the game, a rebound that capitalized on UBC goalie Elise Hugens venturing a little too far out of her net.

Down by one, the T-Birds came out with determination in the second period. They got their first of the night thanks to captain Rylind MacKinnon, who went coast-to-coast, skating around defenders before finding the back of the net to even the score. The Thunderbirds held the pressure, and it paid off when the puck connected with Kennesha Miswaggon’s stick. Her top shelf goal sent the goalie’s water bottle flying and made the score 2–1.

During the third period, the Spartans tied it up with a wrist shot. Both teams strived for a game-winning goal but were unsuccessful. An ill-timed penalty by the ‘Birds in the last few seconds of regulation time meant a Spartans’ power play going into overtime. Thirty seconds in, they scored, ending UBC’s five-game winning streak with a 3–2 score.

At Saturday’s home game, the Thunderbirds brought the intensity. Two minutes in, UBC’s Sophia Gaskell scored from the blue line and put them up 1–0. A Spartans penalty allowed Chanreet Bassi to score after the team’s relentless efforts. After going 0–4 in powerplay goals last game, this was a much-needed goal for the ‘Birds.

In the second period, the Spartans rebounded, capitalizing on a UBC penalty to cut the lead in half. The T-Birds responded with strong offence, with many efforts trying to increase their lead. In the end, it was Mia Bierd on a stellar breakaway that scored to put them up 3–1.

Both teams started to feel the tension and the game became as physical as it could be. Sticks clashed, players slammed into boards, and penalties for checking, boarding, hooking and slashing were abundant for both teams. A UBC penalty for roughing gave the Spartans their second power play goal of the night to make the score 3–2.

The third period saw the ‘Birds unable to take advantage of their power plays and unable to hold off their opponent. In the last minutes of regulation time, the Spartans scored, creating a 3–3 tie that sent the teams into overtime.

Three minutes in, a cross-checking penalty put UBC on the power play again. Hannah Koroll was the overtime hero, stealing the puck away from a defender before sliding it just past the goaltender’s foot to finish the game with a 4–3 home win.

The Thunderbirds will try to continue their undefeated home winning streak on November 18 when they play the University of Alberta Pandas at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. Puck drops at 7 p.m.