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  • Whitecaps Send Thunderbirds Flying with Thunstrom Hat Trick


    Monday night Ridder Arena hosted two visiting teams: The Minnesota Whitecaps and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the last of the latter’s Minnesota exhibition series. Right out of the gate the Whitecaps were on the offensive and had three shots within the first minute. They kept up the pressure for the first half of the period, with goaltender Julie Friend only getting the occasional visiting, like when Hannah Clayton-Carroll flew down the right side and had a prime shot that went wide.

    However, UBC got some momentum going in the second half, putting some shots on net over prone bodies in front of Minnesota’s crease, and Friend even had to pluck the puck out of the air with an overhead glove save. In the last minute of the period Emma Stauber fed the puck to Allie Thunstrom and Thunstrom was off like a shot down center ice, scoring as she fell before goaltender Tory Micklash had time to reach. Hannah Brandt had the second assist on the goal, which registered at 19:55.

    Second period the Whitecaps switched to goaltender Sydney Rossman. The teams did a lot of puck chasing for the first third of the period as Minnesota put up more shots. Then Lisa Martinson made a shot from the top of the right circle that went into goal just past Micklash’s right toe at 7:36. Kate Schipper and Winny Brown assisted. Soon after Amy Menke fed the puck to Thunstrom, who flew up the left side and scored at 8:05 as she swooped past the crease. The Whitecaps continued buzzing the Thunderbird net for quite a while after that and Jonna Curtis had a nice chance, which was foiled by Micklash’s quick shoulder save. Thunstrom got the puck again, but this time when she entered UBC’s zone multiple Thunderbirds hauled her to the ice, which sent Karlee Mazor to the box for hooking at 17:39. This penalty was killed, but UBC had to deal with another one when Emily Costales took a roughing minor at 19:57.

    When the buzzer rang for third period Whitecaps Amanda Leveille stood between the pipes as the team in front of her did their best to convert with almost a full power play. They were unable to do so, but the Thunderbirds looked tired this period and fell a lot after running into Whitecaps. This was the predominate physicality they showed in this game, though a few did through out the occasional headlock—which was reciprocated—and was likely a side effect of playing three games in as many days after a long flight.

    Meaghan Pezon took a hooking minor at 6:43, which the Whitecaps completely killed. As soon as the penalty box opened Ashley McFadden nearly drove a Whitecap into the open door, which put her into the box for holding at 8:53. On this power play Brandt fed the puck to Lee Stecklein for a slapshot down the center, which Micklash stopped, but Amanda Boulier caught the rebound and banged it home from the right circle at 9:21.

    There was a slightly delayed penalty on Stauber for cross checking a Thunderbird into a corner at 15:50. It looked like UBC might actually do something with this power play, but then Thunstrom intercepted a pass, outskated the defense, and poked the puck past Micklash to score an unassisted shorthanded goal at 16:33. After that Costales tripped Schipper at 19:40, putting UBC back on the penalty kill, but the score remained the same. Whitecaps won 5-0 after outshooting the Thunderbirds 31-16.

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