Griffins leaning on lessons learned out of weekend sweep at UBC

Mila Verbicky battles for puck possession in front of UBC's bench on Saturday night (Jacob Mallari, UBC Thunderbirds).
Mila Verbicky battles for puck possession in front of UBC's bench on Saturday night (Jacob Mallari, UBC Thunderbirds).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

-With files from UBC Athletics

VANCOUVER – On the plus side, they had a better first period than on Friday, but at the end of the day, the MacEwan Griffins ended up on the wrong side of a 7-0 score against the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday night.

"We got outplayed completely," said head coach Chris Leeming. "It was close after the first. I thought our first was better than yesterday. We got outshot again, but we played better. They just converted on all the opportunities they got, basically."

UBC held only a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, despite outshooting MacEwan 17-5 in the frame, but Brianna Sank made a few nice stops.

"MacEwan played us very tight, their goaltender stood on her head and gave them every chance to be in the game," said UBC head coach Graham Thomas. "Credit to our team us we stuck to our game plan, generated that offence and made some great plays." 

Cassidy Rhodes scored twice in the second period and Chanreet Bassi put UBC up 4-0 before the intermission. Karine Sandilands, Bassi and Grace Elliott rounded out the third period scoring as UBC wound up outshooting MacEwan 50-11.

Reese Hiddleston earned her first career Canada West shutout.

While the Thunderbirds improve to a conference-leading 9-0-1, the Griffins fall to 1-9-0.

"Out of the weekend, big picture, we were able to compete at times against the first nationally-ranked team in the country," said Leeming when asked about the positives to take out of it. "It's minor victories. There is still a lot of work to do at the end of the day."

Sank finished with 43 saves in a marathon night of work with little she could do on some of the goals.

Leeming noted the improvement will come with some lessons learned out of this weekend's series.

"The execution of details and being committed and having discipline with pieces of our game," he said. "When things get hard, it's easy to take shortcuts or cheat the play a little bit. But we've just got to be committed to not taking shortcuts and playing the game the right way. 

"With the personnel we have, we can't take any time off, we've got to play a full 60 every night to give ourselves a chance to be successful."