The win puts the 'Birds on a two game win streak — both from away games.
“That’s a really great hockey team and we got to come out ready to play," UBC head coach Graham Thomas said.
“We had the tools to win,” said UBC head coach Blake Nill after the game. “Yes, [the Dinos] are more veteran than us, but that doesn’t matter. We need to be able to compete with those guys.”
Despite the win, the ’Birds found themselves with a mountain to climb early. Two minutes into the game, Ed Ilnicki ran for the Bears’ first touchdown to put Alberta ahead.
“It was an awesome experience. It’s the most [fans] I’ve ever been around here at UBC, so if we could get that every game then that’d be awesome,” said T-Bird defensive back Stavros Katsantonis after the game.
What can you expect? A huge all-campus party, that just so happens to centre around a football game between the 'Birds and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies — but it doesn’t just start at kick off. In fact, the celebration started earlier this week.
Despite the win, head coach Blake Nill felt that the team still has room for improvement in the games ahead. “We’ve got to be more consistent offensively, finishing when we’re in the end zone. That’s something that’s plagued us for a season now."
UBC starting quarterback O’Connor — who averaged 324.8 passing yards per game last year — racked up an uncharacteristic 155 yards during the game. The ’Birds also had 23 penalties for a total loss of 210 yards.
This year, the ’Birds will be seeing the return of prominent players like Michael O’Connor and Marcus Davis. Joining them will be a squad of new recruits to bolster the existing talent on all areas of the field.
“It’s still early days and this group has got a lot of work [to do],” said head coach Mike Mosher. “We feel as we grow as a team, we will start to score more goals, so it’s nice to have fun that first weekend with a couple of clean sheets.”
“What we want to be spearheading … is trying to set up a collegiate league for triathlon in western Canada or potentially here [on] the west coast, even including some of the US schools,” said Heinkel.
“All these things [Passaglia] is doing behind this campaign to jumpstart it and getting people aware is the most important thing because the more lives you can save, the better,” said Katsantonis. “It’s helped me become more aware.”
Moving forward, there may be even more in store for Yee than just a professional career in the KHL. As a player of partial Chinese descent, he also has an opportunity to represent the Chinese National Team in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Mosher was impressed with his team’s performance and saw the tournament as a chance to prepare for the upcoming season. “[The WEUFT] allowed us to really grow on the field... It’s the equivalent to a really good preseason exercise."
For Mosher — who has been head coach since 1996 — the 2018 championship will be the first time his team hosts the nationals in over a decade. UBC last hosted the national championship back in 2007, where the ’Birds won CIS gold.