Golden Bears Hockey
EDMONTON - Five different players found the back of the net on Saturday night, as the University of Alberta Golden Bears completed the series sweep over the UBC Thunderbirds with a 5-1 win at Clare Drake Arena. Dylan Bredo, Jamie Crooks, Luke Philp, Ryan Rehill, and Steven Owre scored for Alberta, who earned their conference-leading 13th win of the season (13-1-0).
Bear starter Zach Sawchenko made 22 saves on 23 shots, earning his eighth win of the season. UBC leading scorer Austin Vetterl scored in garbage time for the 'Birds, who narrowly avoided being shutout for the second-straight night.
The Golden Bears offence, similar to the night before, found their rhythm early in the game. Unlike last night, which was led by three players each with three points, tonight was an all-around team performance. That was especially true in the first period, as three different lines contributed offence for Alberta, who led 4-0 after 20 minutes. Bredo and Crooks scored in the opening seven minutes, before Philp's tally 11 minutes in chased starter Rylan Toth, who gave up three on seven shots.
Rehill capped off the tremendous first period with a bullet from the point late in the first, his first of the season, to extend the Bears lead to four.
The rest of the game was as you'd expect, with the Bears playing much less aggressively, and successfully shutting down the UBC comeback. The Thunderbirds managed just six shots in the second, and nine shots in the third, all but one of which was turned aside by the rookie Bears goalie. Owre scored his fourth of the season early in the third, quickly eliminating all thoughts of a UBC comeback.
Vetterl snapped Sawchenko's shutout with his team-leading eighth goal in the final three minutes of the third. In just 14 games this season, Vetterl has already equaled last year's goal output, and is just one shy of his career-high of nine, which he set in 28 games in 2015-16.
The Golden Bears will square off with the Mount Royal Cougars in a home-and-home series next weekend in the final pair of games before the winter break. UBC (5-8-1) will head home for a pair of games against the Manitoba Bisons.