After digesting a pair of tough losses the week before, the men's hockey team redeemed themselves this past weekend with a series sweep of the lowly UBC Thunderbirds. The Dinos sent the Thunderbirds back to the coast with more than just their egos bruised.
Friday night's game had all the signs of a blowout, as the Dinos scored early and often. Blueliner Travis George opened up the scoring with a powerplay goal, just under three minutes into the game. The goal kick-started the offence and put the Thunderbirds back on their heels, and the team scored four unanswered goals to take a demanding lead into the third period. Craig Strain notched another goal just under five minutes into the third to rub even more salt into the opposition's wounds.
It looked as if not even the Flying-V could help the floundering Thunderbirds, but then all hell broke loose and they caught the Dinos napping.
UBC came roaring back into the game scoring four unanswered goals of their own, the last of which came with just over a minute left in regulation. Smelling blood and a chance for the tie, UBC pulled their goalie only to have their comeback halted abruptly as Jordan Walker fired home an empty-netter for his second goal of the night.
After the unexpected wake-up call from the night before, the Dinos came out ready for a tougher matchup on Saturday night. For the second time in two nights, George opened the scoring early in the first with Strain adding another before the end of the period. It looked like dejÃ vu when Bracken Kearns stretched the lead to 3-0, but UBC responded by tallying a goal of their own to pull the game back into reach. However, the defence prevailed, and Tyler Nilsson was solid in goal, especially late in the game, to preserve the 3-1 victory. Nilsson, who is in his final year with the club, has been solid when called upon all season. Another contributing factor for the team's success in the weekend series was a great powerplay going five for 22.
With the season winding down, the team is hoping to gear up for the stretch run into the playoffs. The Dinos will travel east this weekend, to face the U of S Huskies for the final two games of the regular season.