Len Catling / UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – For the second straight night, the UBC Thunderbirds scored five goals en route to a decisive 5-1 victory over the Regina Cougars to sweep their best-of-three Canada West quarter-final playoff series Saturday at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
UBC will now move to the semifinal where they'll visit the defending national champion Manitoba Bisons in a best-of-three series.
"It was good, we played a good consistent game, it was kind of an ugly game to say the least but great teams find a way to win those games," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. "We found a way to score and our power play scored again and we shut them down when we needed to and they pushed back really hard so I was proud of our group."
Thomas is also pleased with the offensive output to begin the post season.
"I love the way we're scoring right now and it's coming from all lines too which is great," added Thomas. It's coming from defence it's coming from forwards so it's excellent to see and we're doing it at the right time and putting pucks in the net so it's good for our groups confidence."
UBC was able to get out to a good start and played and efficient first period scoring on two of their first three shots.
The hosts struck first on the power-play when Mathea Fischer deftly tipped home a Mikayla Ogrodniczuk wrist shot from the point to go in front 1-0 just 2:41 into the contest.
The T-Birds second tally was a test to the determination of UBC leading scorer Hannah Clayton-Carroll. Clayton-Carroll crashed heavily into the boards and appeared to be shaken up, but quickly regained her footing and sent a backhand saucer pass out front to Brie Bellerive. Bellerive fired a wristed shot short side on Regina goaltender Jane Kish at 7:10, extending the lead to 2-0.
Regina pulled with one on a power-play of their own at 12:11 of the opening frame. Tamara McVannel's initial point shot was stopped by Tory Micklash, but Emma Waldenberger pounced on the rebound and slid it past the UBC netminder.
The Thunderbirds added to their lead in the second when Fischer potted another goal, also on the power play at 2:19. Fischer took a pass from Orgodniczuk then patiently waited for Bellerive to set up the screen in front of Cougar goalie Morgan Baker. Fischer fired a seeing-eye wrist shot in the top corner to take a 3-1 advantage for the hosts.
The 'Birds would add to their goal total early in the third at 2:59 with Hannah Koroll lighting the lamp followed just over two minutes later (5:11) by Madison Patrick finding the back of the net on a long range seeing-eye point shot that made it's way through traffic and found the top right corner of the net and a convincing 5-1 lead.
The 2018-19 campaign concludes for Regina after today's loss. The Cougars went 9-14-2-3 in the regular season, recording 34 points and a sixth-place position in the Canada West conference standings.
PHOTO: Rich Lam / UBC Thunderbirds