VANCOUVER — The UBC Thunderbirds suffered a third straight loss and their second straight shutout with a 1-0 defeat to the visiting Alberta Pandas Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Lisa Lloyd was the only skater to find the back of the net as she scored the game winner early in the third period while Halle Oswald won a goaltending duel with Tory Micklash for her fifth win of the season.
“UBC played so well defensively we didn’t really get a lot of opportunities,” said Alberta head coach Howie Draper. “To finally get that goal just kind of helped us loosen up and I felt we played a better game after that.”
Tiffany Chiu had the best chance in the first 20 minutes for the T-Birds (7-4-1-3) as she held the puck on a string in the Pandas’ zone but she rang it off the crossbar.
With the game still tied at zeros past the midway point of the second period, Alberta (8-6-1-0) found themselves on a 5-on-3 power play for nearly a full minute. But the T-Birds got their bodies in front of pucks and sticks in passing lanes to complete an impressive kill.
After 40 minutes without a goal, the Pandas finally broke the ice early in the final period. Lloyd pounced on a loose puck along the goal line and the fourth-year forward quickly buried it past a sprawled out Micklash for her first of the season. Alex Poznikoff picked up her league leading 12th assist and 19th point of the season as she fired the initial shot that went wide and off the end boards to a waiting Lloyd.
The Pandas were able to lock it down the rest of the way as the T-Birds only managed four shots on goal in the final frame while Oswald made a total of 14 saves on the night for her third shutout of the season.
UBC failed to score on four power play chances while the T-Birds’ penalty kill was solid going a perfect 5-for-5.
The win vaults Alberta ahead of UBC in the conference standings based on number of wins while both teams are now four points back of the leading Calgary Dinos.
“I think every little bit helps with momentum and confidence,” added Draper. “But, we’re not done, we really want to try to take away a few more points here.”
Having suffered their second straight 1-0 loss, the ‘Birds will look for the weekend split at Saturday’s Winter Thunderland which also serves as the final game of 2019. Festival events get going at 12:30 p.m. PT with a public skate while puck drop at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre is 3:00 p.m.