Huskies hockey had another less than stellar performance, this time against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds as they dropped three of four games this weekend.
The men’s team split their series in Vancouver running their record to 10–13–1, good for 21 points and sixth in Canada West. Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds improved to 11–9–4 clinching a playoff spot and putting them fourth in the conference and probably earning them a few more votes in the CIS top 10 rankings.
On Jan. 16 in Vancouver, the Huskies marked a huge win as they came back from being down 3–0 in the third period to stun UBC’s record crowd of 3,049. The win also made Huskie coach Dave Adolph the winningest coach in Canada West history, with 387 wins putting him in sole possession of the lead and passing his longtime idol and former University of Alberta coach, Clare Drake.
After the Thunderbirds made the score 3–0 on a David Robinson goal early into the final frame, the Huskies came to life. First, Craig McCallum scored on the power play at 8:46 of the third. Jesse Ross and Connor Cox also scored to tie the game at three and send it to overtime. In the second overtime, McCallum became the hero when he scored 3:24 into the second overtime to pull off the amazing comeback victory.
The following evening, unfortunately, the Huskies could not carry over the previous evening’s momentum as they were shutout 5–0. Thunderbirds’ forwards Nick Buonassisi, Greg Fraser and Anthony Bardaro lead the way for the T-Birds as each had a goal and an assist. The Dogs could not get anything going as they were outshot 37–22 and took 32 minutes in penalties, compared to just 10 for UBC.
The men will be on the road again next weekend as they take on the University of Manitoba Bisons in what will be a pivotal weekend series to determine playoff positioning.
In women’s action, the 10th ranked Huskies lost both games at home against the eighth ranked Thunderbirds. With the losses, the Huskies remain in fifth place in the Canada West at 8–3–7–2 for a total of 32 points, while the Thunderbirds improve to 11–1–4–4, making third place in the CanWest with 39 points.
On the Friday night at Rutherford Rink, the Dogs dropped game one of their weekend series 1–0 to the Thunderbirds. UBC netminder Samantha Langford made 25 saves as she posted the shutout. Cassidy Hendricks was brilliant for the Huskies as she stopped 25 of 26 shots only allowing a single goal — a Stephanie Schaupmeyer goal on a scramble — midway through the first period.
Jan. 17 the Huskies again fell to the Thunderbirds 5–1. The Thunderbirds’ Rebecca Unrau opened the scoring early on as she scored just 80 seconds into the game. Early in the second, Alyssa Dobler came in streaking down the wing and fired on T-Birds’ goaltender Danielle Dube generating a rebound that Huskies’ forward Kandace Cook was able to bang home tying the game at 1–1. From then on it was all Thunderbirds as the Huskies couldn’t keep pace with the quick UBC players. Celine Tardif hooked up with Unrau on a beautiful stretch pass to send her in alone and she beat Hendricks to make it 2–1. The T-Birds’ Tatiana Rafter scored twice in the second to make the score 4–1 after 40 minutes and the Huskies found themselves in penalty trouble late and fell 5–1.
The women will remain at home as they will host the Bisons on Jan. 23 and 24. Manitoba has already clinched a playoff spot so it will be a tough test for the Dogs.
All games are set for a 7 p.m. puck drop with the women at home on Jan. 23 and 24 and the men on the road in Winnipeg as the Huskies take on the U of M Bisons.
Photo: Katherine Fedoroff/Photo Editor