The ’Birds’ hopes of narrowing the Huskies lead vanished as Saskatchewan’s Nelson Lokombo intercepted second-year quarterback Gabe Olivares’s pass before returning 95 yards for a final touchdown, putting the final nail in the T-Birds’s coffin.
This will be UBC’s second Winter Classic game against Lethbridge since the event’s debut in 2015 — their last Classic meeting being in 2016.
“This has been our overall best full game this year,” said Thomas after the game. “Especially against the number one team in the country, great competitors and a great team like Alberta.”
The game was also the highest scoring Hardy Cup final in U Sports history, with a total of 87 points.
During the regular season, the Dinos and ’Birds were first and second respectively in Canada West, making them the superpowers of the conference — and they are poised to bring the other to its knees.
“We deserve a lot of credit for beating them two times in a row. That’s a feat and we’re going to remain positive with that."
Looking back on the regular season, UBC head coach Blake Nill is impressed by his team’s overall effort, especially with many members of the coaching staff being new to the team.
Though student athletic trainers have an overall low profile in the UBC athletic community, they are an essential piece of the puzzle to any team they support.
“This is a pretty good effort ... and I think our pride has to start surfacing now,” said T-Birds head coach Blake Hill after the game. “We needed to win this football game flat out.”
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.