EDMONTON - For the first time this season, the University of Alberta Golden Bears were looking to avoid a losing streak as they played host the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Thanks to three points (one goal, two assists) from sophomores Jason Fram, Luke Philp, and Trevor Cox, the Bears knocked off the Thunderbirds 4-0, Friday night at Clare Drake Arena.
Dylan Bredo also scored for Alberta, while second-year goalie Brendan Burke made 16 saves for his second shutout of the season. With the win, the Bears improve to a conference-leading 12-1-0 record this season, while UBC falls to 5-7-1 in Canada West play.
From the start, the Bears were hungrier team. Through the first twenty minutes, the home team had produced the majority of the games quality scoring chances and the few that UBC could muster were swallowed up by Burke, who looked very calm between the pipes.
A gorgeous toe-drag goal by Fram put Alberta up 1-0 and they added on one more before the end of the first period when Lucas Nickles found Bredo with a no look pass in the slot.
The second period saw the Bears really pull away in terms of puck possession. They peppered UBC goalie Matt Hewitt and eventually found the back of the net again when Philp sprung Cox for a breakaway goal.
The line of Cox, Philp and Cole Sanford really took over this game during the second period as they would tack on one more before the period ended as Philp one-timed a Cox cross-ice pass into an open UBC net.
In the third, things evened out a little bit, in large part due to some undisciplined play by the Golden Bears. They sent the T-Birds to a 5-on-3 powerplay, but luckily were able to kill it off. The two teams were both held off the board in final period and the final score read 4-0 in favour of Alberta.
Between the pipes, both goalies were impressive. Matt Hewitt for UBC held his own and when you look back at the four goals he gave up, you really couldn’t fault him on any of them. In fact, if it wasn’t for Hewitt, Alberta could have added on a few more in the third. Burke, meanwhile, got the start for the Bears and he was perfect stopping all 16 shots he faced.
Game two of the back-to-back will go tomorrow night at 5pm from Clare Drake.