Welcome back to Weekend Rundown, your place to stay up to date with all of the different Thunderbirds teams!
Toth stars in dominant opening weekend for Thunderbirds
The UBC men’s hockey team welcomed fans to the new season by sweeping the weekend series against the Trinity Western University Spartans.
It had been 616 days since the Thunderbirds scored a goal at their home arena in front of fans, so early on Friday night when team captain Tyler Sandhu pounced on a rebound at the side of the goal to put UBC up 1-0, a wave of emotion washed over the players, coaches, and onlookers.
“It was awesome,” said Sandhu, “we wanted to start off on a good foot, and to get the lead early was nice.”
Trinity Western wouldn’t answer until early in the second period, when Spartan’s forward Kolby Johnson finished a remarkable single-handed effort by slipping the puck past goaltender Rylan Toth. The two teams traded chances until later in the frame, when UBC, off the momentum of a huge five-on-three penalty-kill, took control offensively. The Thunderbirds scored four unanswered goals to win the game 5-1. Rylan Toth was rock-solid in the UBC net, stopping 25 of 26 shots in the win. He was quick to silence any TWU opportunities, staying calm when his team found themselves under pressure.
“Knowing yourself and knowing how to stay focused is [so important],” said Toth, “It’s been tough relearning that [after so long without games], but it’s a part of the job, and it’s a part of being a goalie.”
Toth continued his excellent play on Saturday as UBC hit a few speed bumps on their way to a convincing 4-0 win. Notably, the Thunderbirds powerplay struggled on its many opportunities to put the game out of reach.
“[Our] powerplay just wasn’t clicking [today],” remarked UBC head coach Sven Butenschön, “it’s something we have to talk about, and work on by [simplifying] a few things.”
Along with the win, fourth-year goaltender Toth notched his first career Canada West shutout.
“He did a great job at making sure he shut the door,” marvelled Butenschön, “he’s mentally tough, and has developed into a great goalie.”
Next weekend, the Thunderbirds head to Winnipeg to face the University of Manitoba Bisons. Butenschön expects a tough opponent, but knows his team will be energized and ready to battle.
Women’s hockey opens strong against Trinity Western Spartans
On Friday evening, the Thunderbirds opened their season in the Langley Events Center against the Trinity Western Spartans — who were playing their first USports game — with a 3-1 score.
Winning the first face-off, the Spartans started off with the puck, but within the first thirty seconds of the game, the Thunderbirds took it back down to the offensive zone for their first shot which was blocked by Spartan goalie Mabel Maltais.
The First period ended with a score of 0-0, with Maltais and Thunderbirds goalie Reese Hiddleston, a second year kinesiology student from White Rock, BC, holding strong.
The Spartans scored the first point of the game early in the second period, but Thunderbirds alternate captain Rylind MacKinnon, a third[-]year kinesiology student from Cranbrook, BC, posted the Birds’ first point during a power play at 7:52 with assists from rookie Sophia Gaskell and alternate captain Shay-Lee McConnell. Second year forward MacKenzie Kordic from Edmonton, AB, put UBC in a 2-1 lead at 16:53 with assists from McConnell and MacKinnon.
Second period also saw both teams racking up penalty minutes — five two-minute penalties for Trinity and three for UBC. The game overall was heavy on penalties — Trinity had 9 and UBC had 8.
The Thunderbirds secured the lead in their season opener when captain Kenzie Robinson — a fifth-year kinesiology student from Hamiota, Manitoba — scored the third goal of the game at 9:26 with assists from second year Chanreet Bassi and Joelle Fiala, a recent third-year transfer from NCAA Division 1 School Robert Morris University.
The Thunderbirds also took on the Spartans in their second game of the season, this time on home ice. Again, first period ended with a score of 0-0, though UBC far outnumbered TWU, with 10 shots on goal as opposed to 3. Rookie goalie Elise Hugens held strong in what would become her first USports career shutout.
Fourth year Jenna Fletcher posted the Thunderbirds’ first point less than two minutes into the second period with assists from Bassi and McConnell. Bassi — an arts student from Lake Country, BC — posted her first goal of the season a couple minutes later at 5:17.
The Thunderbirds continued into an electric second half of the game, with MacKinnon scoring a goal during a power play at 10:52, with assists from McConnell and Gaskell. Rookie Annalise Wong from Richmond, BC, assisted Bassi in scoring another goal at 14:02 and fourth year Emily Moore earned her first goal of the season with assists from first years Grace Elliott and Karine Sandilands at 15:29. Alternate captain Ireland Perrott, assisted by Kordic and third year Ashley McFadden, finished up the second period with the Thunderbirds’ sixth point at 19:24.
The Spartans put up a stronger fight in the third period — even putting the puck in the goal, but the point was waived due to goalie interference — but the Thunderbirds emerged victorious with Kordic scoring the Thunderbirds’ seventh goal at 1:25, with assists from McConnell and rookie Kailee Peppler. Sophia Gaskell — from Port Moody, BC — scored her first goal at 10:57, with assists from Robinson and rookie Ashton Thorpe.
Fourth quarter comeback gives men’s football first win of the season
Staring down the prospect of losing a third-straight game this season, the Thunderbirds rallied for a spirited late fourth-quarter comeback that culminated in an overtime victory for the Birds.
The Thunderbirds were away in Regina this Saturday for the third game of their season against the University of Regina Rams.
After finding themselves in a 23-0 deficit at half-time, the Bird’s defense showed poise holding Regina to zero points for the remainder of regulation time. Keijaun Johnson reeled in UBC’s first interception of the season, while Ryan Baker, Lake Korte-Moore and Natale Frangione combined to give UBC two sacks for seven yards.
Building off the strong play of the Thunderbirds’ defense, quarterback Garrett Rooker led UBC’s offense to score an impressive 23 points in the fourth-quarter to tie the game 23-23 and push it into overtime.
The extra frame opened with Regina passing their way downfield to score a rushing touchdown by Kyle Borsa. The Thunderbirds responded with a touchdown of their own, tacking on a two-point conversion caught by Trey Kellogg that would give the Birds their first win of the season. The final score was 31-30.
Rooker finished the game 31 for 47 — with one touchdown and one interception — for a total of 335 yards passing. Isaiah Knight led the Birds on the ground with 146 yards rushing and one touchdown.
The Thunderbirds now sit tied for third place in the Canada West division with Alberta, Calgary and Regina. With only three games remaining in the regular season, UBC has an outside chance of finding their way into the playoffs if they can continue to dig deep and find ways to win games.
A convincing victory over the Vikes
The UBC men’s rugby team took a convincing 22-7 victory over the University of Victoria Vikes, the first match in the historic Wightman Boot.
With rain pouring down on Saturday, a packed home crowd cheered on the Thunderbirds as they took to the field. Both teams struggled with the conditions early, with dropped passes thanks to the slick ball.
However, it would be the T-Birds who struck first, pushing the Vikes back with pressure. Landon Clironomos got on the end of a UVic kick, pushing it forward through a gap in their line and scoring the first try of the game.
The Vikes would try to respond to no avail, as the half finished 5-0 in favour of UBC. In the second half, the Thunderbirds got off to a quick start.
Takoda McMullin found himself with a gap as he raced towards the try zone, offloading to Clironomos before being brought down right before the goal. It took a few moments before Jacob Bossi scored another try, pushing the lead to 10.
However, UVic would find the scoresheet themselves, striking back with a try and conversion just four minutes later to narrow the score to 10-7.
The match became a game of chess as the teams tried to battle for supremacy. Coming off the bench after returning from the Canadian Seven’s team, Jack Carson found himself breaking loose in the 63rd minute, diving into the endzone to score UBC’s third try of the game.
With McMullin converting the kick, the lead stretched to 17-7. The T-Birds weren’t done yet, as Bossi rounded out the scoring with another try three minutes later.
With a final score of 22-7, the Thunderbirds now head to Port Alberni to take on the Pacific Pride this Saturday.
Women’s rugby clinches first place in the Canada West
UBC women’s rugby clinched first place in Canada West with a massive 67-5 victory over the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns.
With grey skies above, Lethbridge managed to get the early possession advantage, but were unable to capitalize. It proved costly, as when Kally King burst past their line, the momentum completely shifted to the Thunderbirds side.
Florence Symonds tacked on the first of many scores for UBC in the 7th minute, setting the tone of what was to come. Shoshanah Seumanutafa added another try 11 minutes later, and in the 24th, Piper Logan scored in what was becoming a drubbing already.
Though Lethbridge’s Gwen Fillinger was able to get the Pronghorns on the board, more scores by Seumanutafa and Mikiela Nelson put the game out of reach heading into half time.
With a scoreline of 36-5 entering the second half, UBC would lock the game down, not letting the Pronghorns near another try.
Savannah Bauder continued her reign of terror in Canada West play, scoring thrice in the second half with the scoring rounded out by Emma Feldinger and Symonds. The final whistle brought the game to an end, with UBC completely romping out of sight by the end.
The T-Birds return to action for their regular season finale next Saturday, facing off against the University of Victoria Vikes at home. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Tough fight for women’s soccer during their Senior’s night
Women’s soccer finished this past weekend with an 8-1-1 record after a very competitive doubleheader against the Trinity Western University Spartans at Thunderbird Stadium.
Both T-Birds and Spartans are the top two squads in the league as well as the west division standings, which makes them the rivals, but the Spartans broke T-Birds’ 8-0 winning streak on Friday and finished their undefeated season on Saturday.
There were a fair amount of possessions being shared during the game, but the Spartans’ defender Tilly James came with an astonishing strike at the 76th minute and carried it straight to the top right corner, which resulted in a goal for the Spartans.
Although there were multiple chances in the first-half, it was not enough to remain undefeated. The T-Birds’ first-year defender Ella Nuttall-Smith attempted two consecutive shots from the six-yard box in the thirteenth minute, but the Spartans’ third-year goalkeeper Hannah Miller was solid and did not let the ball reach the back of the net.
This carried on to their next game and Saturday and T-Birds closed the night with a 0-0 draw, which made them the second of the west division and Canada West Standings.
UBC head coach Jesse Symons gives full credit to the T-Birds. “I feel that in both matches this weekend we outplayed them, we out-chanced them, but unfortunately, we didn’t out-score them. Hopefully we’ll see them again in the Canada West finals.” said Symons.
T-Birds hope to pick up from where they left off this week as they face the University of Victoria Vikes this weekend.
Another weekend of draws made by men’s soccer
After their first win against the visiting UBC Okanagan Heat, UBC men’s soccer settled with two draws this past weekend against the Trinity Western Spartans.
The Spartans started with a 1-0 lead early in the sixteenth minute and they extended their lead to 2-0 twenty minutes after their first goal.
However, four minutes later, T-Birds’ third-year forward Tristan Nkoghe scored after Christopher Lee’s assist. Then, Nkoghe followed through with another goal with a great pass made by Mitch Priaux.
The T-Birds were able to pick up and have the possession for the second half, but was not able to complete another goal to secure a win and ended the Friday night with a 2-2 draw.
The second day of the doubleheader against the Heat, started with a 1-1 level score at halftime, as Thomas Gardner scored for the T-Birds. Then T-Birds’ Bradley Richardson contributed for a lead in the 59th minute.
However, the Spartans came back in the 90th minute then when Richardson scored his second goal of the game in the added time for to bring it to 3-2, but the Spartans scored again in their final play of the game and ended the Saturday night with 3-3 draw.
Men’s soccer has had multiple draws made this season, but they are tied for the second spot in the West Division with Trinity Western. T-Birds need another win in order to get a spot in the playoff.
T-Birds are off to the University of Victoria Vikes, currently top in the West Division with 5-2-3, this weekend for a change to clinch a playoff spot.