The UBC women’s hockey team came out with a bronze medal at the U Sports championship in Napanee, Ontario after a series of gruelling matches against the nation’s best teams.
The team snagged its second consecutive Canada West title earlier this month.
The championship tournament took place at the Strathcona Paper Centre from Thursday, March 16 to Sunday, March 19.
In the first game on Thursday, the Thunderbirds defeated the tournament’s hosts, the Queen’s University Gaels, by two goals. Stephanie Schaupmeyer and Nicole Saxvik had the goals for UBC. The ’Birds’ offensive firepower was strong throughout the game, as the team outshot the Gaels 35-17.
After the win on Thursday, UBC fell 1-0 in the semifinal game on Saturday against the McGill University Martlets. The game was scoreless right until the final three minutes of the third period, where a goal by McGill’s Gabrielle Davidson carried the Martlets to the gold medal match. Despite the loss, Amelia Boughn had another impressive performance in the net, stopping 28 of 29 shots.
With the loss to the Martlets, the ’Birds then headed to the bronze medal match to face the Concordia University Stingers. This time, UBC earned their redemption with a 2-0 shutout win over Concordia to claim the medal.
Towards the end of the first frame, a tripping penalty on the Stingers’ Brigitte Laganiere gave the T-Birds an edge. On UBC’s ensuing power play, Cassandra Vilgrain — who had led the team in points during the regular season — caught a rebound at the side of the net to put the ’Birds up 1-0.
Despite a flurry of penalties to UBC in the second frame, the ’Birds showed off strong penalty kills and were able to successful hold off against the Stingers.
As the game winded down to the final three minutes of play, UBC again capitalized on the power play when Logan Boyd found the top shelf of the net from the slot, securing the team’s bronze medal victory.
With the bronze medal win, the ’Birds have now captured two consecutive medals, having won silver last season. McGill went on to lose 2-1 in overtime against the University of Alberta Pandas in the gold medal match.