By Thomas Guenther
VANCOUVER – First-year UBC Thunderbirds forward Mathea Fischer scored the only goal of the game 2:05 into the second overtime on a power play to give her team 1-0 triumph over the No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies in Canada West women's hockey action in Vancouver on Friday night.
With Hanna McGillivray off on a slashing penalty, Fischer's low shot beat Saskatchewan goaltender Cassidy Hendricks, who had stopped the previous 28 UBC shots she faced. Thunderbird netminder Danielle Dube earned her first shutout of the season with a 19-save performance.
The visiting Huskies controlled puck possession for the first half of the opening period but couldn't score on their lone power play of the first, which came 57 seconds into the game.
Momentum shifted in the 'Birds' favour in the last 10 minutes as the Huskies took three penalties and allowed UBC to finish the period with the 8-6 edge in shots. The best scoring opportunity was from Nicole Saxvik, who broke in alone on Hendricks but was denied on her first shot and then again on the rebound.
UBC outshot Saskatchewan in the second 9-5. However, a Huskies breakaway by Kori Herner nearly broke the 0-0 tie. Rookie Thunderbirds defender Mikayla Ogrodniczuk dove and extended her stick to try and prevent Herner's deke. The puck got away from Herner and Dube was able to cover up.
Herner was a danger again later on after she made a great pass to Kaitlin Willoughby, who walked in and fired a shot on Dube, who absorbed the shot.
In the dying seconds of the third period, UBC came out of a Huskie timeout with a plan. They wrung the puck around the boards to send Kathleen Cahoon and Kaylin Snodgrass in on a 2-on-1 opportunity, but Hendricks was able to make the pad save on Snodgrass after Cahoon was dead on with her pass.
UBC went 1-for-6 on the power play while Saskatchewan went scoreless in three man-advantage opportunities.
Friday's win over first-place Huskies (5-2-2-2) puts the 'Birds (5-2-3-1) in second place in the Canada West league standings as the Lethbridge Pronghorns lost to the Manitoba Bisons 4-0 tonight.
The Thunderbirds play the Huskies again Saturday Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. (PT) at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.