Jeff Sargeant, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – Three power play goals and a breakout performance by Jaedon Cooke powered the UBC Thunderbirds (1-1-0-0) to a 4-1 win over the Manitoba Bisons (1-1-0-0) Saturday afternoon to split the season opening series at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Like a team on a mission, the 'Birds took a 3-0 lead by the late stages of the opening period while making the Bisons pay by scoring on each of their first three power plays.
"We really started the game how we finished yesterday," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas who was very pleased with the 'Birds' special teams performance.
"It was the second efforts and defensively being more responsible and managing the puck. We got out of our zone easier and quicker which allowed our forwards and our speed and pressure to take over."
UBC got into some penalty trouble once again with the Bisons scoring their only goal of the game on a 5-on-3 second period power play courtesy of Erica Rieder.
Manitoba pressed as expected in the final 20 minutes but the 'Birds didn't give the visitors much time or space with the puck while Tory Micklash put up a terrific performance in net with 21 saves for her first win of the season.
"The third period last night, that was T-Bird hockey and we just wanted to make sure we continued to play like that today and we did," said Cooke who was in on two of UBC's first three goals of the game.
For the second straight game Logan Boyd opened scoring for the 'Birds, this time at the 10:10 mark of the opening period.
UBC doubled their lead just over three minutes later when Ireland Perrott scored her first as a Thunderbird with a beautiful quick release placing the puck just under the crossbar.
After assisting on the 'Birds' second goal, Cooke got one of her own, also on the man advantage, at 17:45, her first tally as a T-Bird.
"It's been a long time coming, it's awesome to get it for sure," said Cooke whose four points leads the Thunderbirds in scoring. "A lot of it is coming from the girls that I get to play with and our chemistry on the ice."
Hannah Clayton-Carroll got her first of the season early in the second, also on the power play.
Rachel Dyck allowed three goals on nine UBC shots in the first period and was replaced in the Bisons' net by Lauren Taraschuk to start the second.
After failing to score on the power play in Friday night's season opener, the 'Birds went 3-for-5 in Saturday's rematch holding the Bisons to one goal on six opportunities.
PHOTO BY: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds