Vancouver, BC - A rematch of last season's Canada West semi-final lived up to the billing Friday night when the Saskatchewan Huskies (6-2-0-1) finally broke a deadlock midway through the third period en route to a 2-0 win over the defending Canada West champion UBC Thunderbirds (6-3-0-0) at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Both goaltenders were stellar between the pipes carrying a scoreless tie well into the final period before Kaitlin Willoughby scored her fourth of the season on a shorthanded breakaway for what proved to be the game winner.
The Thunderbirds had their share of power play chances throughout the game but couldn't beat Jessica Vance who made 32 saves for her first win as a Husky.
Tory Micklash made 26 saves and was equally impressive in the T-Birds' net. The second-year goaltender stopped Willoughby on two previous shorthanded breakaways and was on the bench for the extra attacker when Saskatchewan's Chloe Smith found the empty net for her first Canada West goal with 44 seconds left on the clock.
The 'Birds finished the game 0-for-5 on the power play while the Huskies didn't have a single chance on the man advantage.
With the win the Huskies leapfrog UBC into first place in the conference by a single point.
The 'Birds will have a chance to take their lead back in Saturday's rematch. Puck drop at Doug Mitchell is 2:00 p.m. PT.
Game Notes: Huskies' captain Kaitlin Willoughby reached the century mark in points in her Canada West career with the goal and assist in the game.