For six days, the nation’s most promising and celebrated skaters brought life to a stadium that usually only sees its stands filled for hockey games and concerts.
Seeming to sway from power to precision play, the home side would continue to control the Canada West with a straight set win on Friday night — thought it did not come easy.
The team took home five spots on the U Sports All-Canadian team this year, sitting just behind reigning Vanier Cup champions Laval for the most players listed on the roster — Laval claimed six spots this year.
The men’s team has now won four of its six events this year, while the women sit just one title behind, winning three of their six events.
"It's been the story our whole season, you know showing the fight to get back to 2-2 and ... penalties is pretty much a toss-up, so definitely proud of the guys."
Two disappointing semifinal outcomes this weekend — a 4-2 loss in overtime for TRU and a 2-0 loss for UBC — have led the Wolfpack and the Thunderbirds to cross paths once again, but who will be victorious and claim both a U Sports medal and some Canada West pride?
After another drawn-out but successful 2-1 overtime win for the Thunderbirds against the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds in Thursday morning’s quarterfinal, UBC couldn’t find the spark in the national semifinals Friday night — falling 2-0 to the Montreal Carabins.
After a head-scratching 3-0 loss to the Trinity Western Spartans on Friday night, the Thunderbirds came out looking more like their usual dominating roster on Saturday, though not fully-fledged until the second half.
“Give credit to Trinity Western today, they came out and ran and fought and got a goal in the first half and didn’t stop … unfortunately we weren’t able to match it."
The Thunderbirds asserted their dominance from kick-off, destroying the Wanderers with their quick foot work throughout the match.
UBC last loss was a 6-2 loss against West Vancouver FHC on September 30.
The Thunderbirds now have two days of downtime before facing the Saskatchewan Huskies at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday in Saskatoon.
“I made a conscious decision to return to track after having quit and then upon doing so was just further prevented from racing, so it seems like there’s sort of a narrative of things getting in the way, whether that be school or injury.”
The Thunderbirds move to 3-1-1 in the Vancouver Men’s Field Hockey League.
The win puts UBC to a 2-1-1 record in the Vancouver Men’s Field Hockey League. Next up, the T-Birds have another home game against the Vancouver Hawks at noon on October 21.