Connor Hood - Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
EDMONTON – Joe Antilla scored the game winner with two minutes left in the third period, as the UBC Thunderbirds knocked off the University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey team 3-2, Saturday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Anthony Bardaro and Kyle Becker also scored for UBC on Saturday, while goalie Matt Hewitt stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced to earn his third win of the season. Tyson Baillie scored for the second consecutive night, with Stephane Legault also finding the scoresheet for Alberta.
With the win, the UBC Thunderbirds earn three of a possible four points in Edmonton, improving their record to 6-10-2. Alberta, meanwhile, falls to 11-6-1 this season.
In almost identical fashion to Friday night's tilt, the UBC Thunderbirds opened the scoring with two quick first period goals. Bardaro, who scored twice the previous night, continued his hot play by opening the scoring 11 minutes into the first period. After a successful penalty kill, the 'Birds sprung Bardaro on a clear cut breakaway, as he roofed the shot over Brendan Burke's glove.
Becker doubled the lead just three minutes later, beating Burke on a soft snap-shot five-hole from just inside the Alberta blue line.
But just like the previous night, Alberta would claw back into the game with a strong showing in the second period. Baillie would cut the deficit in half with five minutes left in the frame, taking advantage of a Michael Stenerson turnover at his own blue line, ripping a shot far side over Hewitt on the Bears two-on-one rush.
The Bears leveled the score at two with just 38 seconds left in the second. Off a fantastic cross-ice feed from Baillie, Legault was able to sneak around his defender, cutting toward the UBC net and tucking the shot five-hole on Hewitt.
While the two teams played great five on five hockey all night, neither could take advantage of their powerplay opportunities, combining to go 0-8 on the odd man advantage.
Both teams exchanged great chances in the third period, with Hewitt making a pair of good stops on Jamie Crooks and Jayden Hart, while Luck Lockhart ringing a hard shot from the slot off the iron.
The similarities to the previous game, however, came back to haunt the Golden Bears, allowing another late UBC goal. This time the goal with two minutes left proved to be the difference, as a turnover deep in Alberta territory found the stick of Antilla in the slot, and quickly the back of the Alberta net with a nasty shot over Burke's glove.
The Golden Bears will return to action next weekend with another home series, this time against the Regina Cougars at Clare Drake Arena. UBC will also have a home series next weekend, as they battle the Manitoba Bisons in a crucial two game set.