Thunderbirds Sweep Bisons, Off to Semi-Finals

Title: Thunderbirds Sweep Bisons, Off to Semi-Finals
Date: February 16, 2013
Original Source: UBC Thunderbirds
Synopsis: Post-game story on the Feb. 16 playoff game between UBC women’s hockey and Manitoba.

VANCOUVER – It took Genevieve Carpenter-Boesch (Regina, SK) a moment to realize exactly what she had done.

Leading 3-1 with a minute left to play, Carpenter-Boesch fired a shot wide of Manitoba’s empty net. It bounced off the end wall and she beat the defender to the puck, taking a spill but corralling the puck into the net as she did for her second goal of the night.

BOX SCORE

As her teammates swarmed her and Father David Bauer Arena erupted, the magnitude of the goal set in.

“We’re going to the semi-finals,” said an elated Carpenter-Boesch.

The goal made it 4-1, effectively ending the quarter-final series with the UBC Thunderbirds sweeping the Manitoba Bisons two games to none. UBC will now move on to face the Regina Cougars in the Canada West semi-finals next weekend.

Saturday’s game was far different from Friday’s 7-2 UBC victory. Scoreless until the third period, the game was played at a slower pace with a grittier feel. It wasn’t until the third period that the pace picked up and the zeroes turned crooked.

The end of Friday’s game also hung over the first frame, as the teams felt each other out. At the end of Friday’s game, Maggie Litchfield-Medd hit Rebecca Unrau (Humboldt, SK) knee-on-knee, resulting in a five minute major, a game misconduct and a one-game suspension. Unrau, meanwhile, has an upper body injury and may not be able to return in the playoffs.

Her teammates chose to hang her number 15 jersey above the bench for the game while Unrau cheered them on from the stands.

“It means a lot,” said Unrau. “They came together as a team. They missed me and I missed them, but I’m just so happy right now that they won it.”

Manitoba led 18-12 in shots through two scoreless frames, with Danielle Dube (Vancouver, BC) and Leiette Klassen dueling between the pipes.

Just a minute into the third, though, Jayden Skoleski beat Dube to open the scoring and give the Bisons their first lead of the series.

It would take UBC six minutes to answer, but Carpenter-Boesch’s first of the night opened the floodgates. Just 31 seconds later, Nicole Saxvik (Winnipeg, MB) gave UBC the lead.

With three minutes to go, Haneet Parhar (West Vancouver, BC) buried a feed from Carpenter-Boesch, before Carpenter-Boesch’s empty netter closed out the scoring.

The team was understandably excited after the contest, with friends and family sticking around the arena to celebrate. To the individual, each girl seemed ecstatic, having accomplished yet another first with the program’s first playoff series win. There are still goals to be accomplished, though, with the semi-finals just six days away already.

“It’s amazing, especially to do it on home ice,” said head coach Graham Thomas. “Let’s enjoy this, yeah, but we’re all relishing the chance to play this team. They’ve had our number a bit, for various reasons, and we’re really excited to play this team.”

UBC won just one of four contests against Regina earlier in the year. However, since the teams last met, UBC has won 12 of 14 games, including nine straight heading into the series.

The semi-finals kick off Friday in Regina at The Co-operators Centre at 5 p.m.

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