‘Birds Skate to Seventh Straight Win After a 4-1 Triumph Over GMU
01/28/2023 | 3 p.m. (PT)
Jan 28 (Sat) / 3pm (PT)
Story VANCOUVER — UBC captain Rylind Mackinnon scored her first USPORTS hat-trick of her career in a 4-1 win over the Grant MacEwan Griffins Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Center. The fourth-year defender at the Cranbrook, BC defenseman has accumulated six points (4G, 2A) in five games since the Christmas break and has already doubled her total points (2G, 4A) from the first 15 games of the season.
“She finds it in the second half, which is amazing, we definitely need that from her.” T-Birds head coach Graham Thomas said of Mackinnon. “I think she grabbed the racquet, tried a little too hard in the first half, she found her stride and was able to settle down.”
Friday’s win was a hard-fought physical battle, with eighth-place MacEwan Griffins (6-16-1) conceding 11 minutes on penalties; Rebecca Thiessen was assessed, among other things, with a five-minute game misconduct penalty for cross-checking. The T-Birds took their chances and went two-on-four on the power play.
The Griffins were two goals down going into the third period but had turnovers in key areas throughout the night. Persistent checking paid off in the third period, and the result was Rian Santos, a charging sophomore, scoring her first career goal for Canada West, reducing the deficit to 2-1.
?? WHIKY | @UBCWHKY captain Rylind MacKinnon after her first @CanadaWest hat trick and led the ‘Birds to a 4-1 win over MacEwan pic.twitter.com/84ZHbdviaG
— UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) January 28, 2023
UBC repelled a late push and third-year forward Mackenzie Kordic potted an empty neter to thwart the game for her sixth goal of the season.
“No one gets a clear lane anywhere, so it was a good effort and a good second effort so she could fight her way through all of that and keep moving and get a lane and get in,” Graham Thomas said of Kordic’s insurance goal.
UBC (19-2-2) have now won seven games in a row and are perfectly positioned 12-0 at home. Grace Elliott (2A) also extended her scoring streak to seven games, with 10 points over that span and 17 points (6G, 11A) in the season.
The second game of the weekend series against MacEwan takes place on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. It is the last Saturday home game of the season for the T-Birds as the playoffs are just around the corner.