Columbia athletics

Huskies inflict first regulation loss on T-Birds

VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds suffered their first regulation loss of the season as the Saskatchewan Huskies scored once on the power play, once shorthanded, once at even strength and once in the empty net in a 4-2 decision Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Center.

Trailed 3-1 with three minutes left in the third, Jake Lee scored his fifth of the season leading the team to lead the ‘Birds within a goal. Kaeden Lane rushed to the bench for the extra forward with just over two minutes left, but Cael Zimmerman found the net empty to seal the Huskies victory.

In a game that saw 14 total power plays – seven aside – the Huskies (4-1) finished 1 for 7 while UBC (3-1-1) failed to score on their seven chances in what turned out to be the difference as Saskatchewan Huskies goaltender Roddy Ross was outstanding making 31 saves for his third win of the season.

October 14, 2022: Action during a men's ice hockey game between the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at Doug Mitchell Arena, University of British Columbia, Vancouver , British Columbia, Canada.  ****(Photo by Bob Frid/UBC Athletics 2022 All Rights Reserved)****

“We just couldn’t have flow, we couldn’t have rhythm,” UBC head coach said Sven Butenschon. “We talk about our depth and everyone wants to come out and play and everyone feels good and then every three minutes there was a power play or a power play and we just couldn’t find a good rhythm. They get a power play goal and we get zero and there’s the difference.”

In the first two periods, the T-Birds edged the Huskies by a 22-20 margin, but it was the visitors who held the 2-1 advantage at that point.

Sophomore forward Jared Dmytriw stole the puck from the T-Birds blue line and ignited the jets to get into a shorthanded breakaway where he covered the puck past Lane to open the scoring at 15:09 .

UBC Captain Chris Douglas got the tie just 1:45 into second with his second of the season with his own shorthanded scorer. Tian Rask blocked a Huskies shot and quickly gave the puck to Sam Huo who in turn passed to Douglas who had just come out of the box and burst into a partial breakaway. Douglas released the puck over Ross’ glove to get the T-Birds faithful back on their feet.

But halfway through the period, the Huskies had restored their lead thanks to a power play goal from Vince Loschiavo, his third of the season, converted on a perfect cross pass from Dmytriw.

Early in the third, the Huskies earned their first multi-goal lead of the night when Justin Ball grabbed a rebound for his second of the season after Lane made a nice save on an Alec Zawatsky shot.

October 14, 2022: Action during a men's ice hockey game between the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at Doug Mitchell Arena, University of British Columbia, Vancouver , British Columbia, Canada.  ****(Photo by Bob Frid/UBC Athletics 2022 All Rights Reserved)****

Still down two with three minutes left, Lee gave the T-Birds some hope when he intercepted a Huskies pass attempt, snuck past another Saskatchewan forward and shot just right. under the bar.

But the ‘Birds couldn’t complete the comeback as they lost their first regular season game to the Huskies since 2020.

“Every time we’ve played Saskatchewan during my time here as coach, it’s been exactly like that,” Butenschon added of the rough-and-tumble style on Friday night. “They keep you on the outside, they have good sticks, they don’t make it easy for you. They hope their power play gets one or two and they can hang on and that’s what they did.”

October 14, 2022: Action during a men's ice hockey game between the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at Doug Mitchell Arena, University of British Columbia, Vancouver , British Columbia, Canada.  ****(Photo by Bob Frid/UBC Athletics 2022 All Rights Reserved)****

The ‘Birds outscored the Huskies by a 35-25 margin.

Saturday afternoon, UBC will be looking to redeem themselves as they enter the weekend split when they host the Huskies again. The puck drop at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Center is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available online and the game will be broadcast live on Canada West TV.