Weekend Rundown: Rugby, soccer and hockey win big

Welcome back to Weekend Rundown, your place to stay up to date with all of the different Thunderbirds teams!

’Birds offence struggles in loss to Manitoba

After a punishing start to their season, it was more of the same for the Thunderbirds on Saturday as the men’s football team lost 19–37 on the road against the University of Manitoba Bisons.

The woes started early for the ’Birds, as running back Sharique Khan coughed up the ball on the second snap of the game on the UBC 17-yard line.

Manitoba capitalized on the fumble, with quarterback Des Catellier delivering a quick 10-yard pass to wide receiver Macho Bockru to put the Bisons ahead 0–7 with 13:31 left in the first quarter.

It took another nine minutes before UBC put their first points on the board.

Their defensive squad brought Catellier down in the end zone for a safety after a Garrin McDonnell punt pinned the Bisons deep in their own territory.

Manitoba roared back with two quick scores before the end of the quarter, the first came on a 38-yard field goal and the second on an interception thrown by UBC quarterback Tommy Yanchuk.

After the 44-yard pick-six by Bisons defensive back Arjay Shelley, the scoreline stood at 2–17 with just over 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Despite a few glimmers of hope, the ’Birds would be unable to overcome this initial deficit.

An 88-yard punt return by running back Daniel Appiah and a 33-yard run by wide receiver Jacob Patten would be the only other times UBC would see the end zone.

Even with a McDonnell field goal, the Thunderbirds could not match Manitoba’s offensive tempo, as the Bisons would go on to score two more touchdowns on the ground complemented by two field goals.

With this latest road loss, the T-Birds are now 0–4 in Canada West conference play. They will be looking to finally break their losing streak at home at Thunderbird Stadium on Saturday against the surging University of Alberta Golden Bears.

The Thunderbirds are now 0–4 in Canada West play.
The Thunderbirds are now 0–4 in Canada West play. File Salomon Micko Benrimoh

Women’s soccer earn double wins

Avid T-Birds fans surely couldn’t be more delighted exiting the Thunderbird Stadium last Friday afternoon after witnessing their team’s goal bonanza on the University of Regina Cougars.

The first half saw the T-Birds dominate possession but fail to convert on any of their chances.

A stunning tip by UBC goalie Emily Moore against a well-placed shot from Cougars forward Taylor Bubnick at the 43rd minute ensured the first half ended goalless.

Regina’s defence buckled under constant pressure in the second half, eventually fouling ’Birds rookie Katalin Tolnai at the 55th minute.

Tolnai finally put UBC ahead from the resulting free kick with a beautifully curved shot. Unfortunately, she was injured at the 60-minute mark and was forced to exit the game.

Tolnai’s substitution, Danielle Steer, converted from the penalty spot with a decisive shot to the upper-right corner. 90+17 saw UBC’s Sophie Damian tip the ball in after Steer’s shot rebounded off Regina goalkeeper Savannah Williams. The game ended 3–0 for UBC.

“It’s tough to just break teams down right from the get-go of games and we talked a lot about being fast, physical and fit,” said head coach Jesse Symons.

“The players work so hard off the field to get ready for the season and they show a great mindset to keep the high tempo, which I was really pleased with tonight.”

Saturday then saw the T-Birds defeat the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 2–0 for their fourth consecutive win and clean sheet this season.

With such a stellar defence and clinical forwards, it wouldn’t be surprising if the team takes the Canada West crown this year.

The ’Birds are quickly becoming a serious force to be reckoned with this year.
The ’Birds are quickly becoming a serious force to be reckoned with this year. File Salomon Micko Benrimoh

T-Birds soundly defeat MacEwan Griffins in exhibition games

Friday night saw a heated match between the UBC Thunderbirds men’s hockey team and the visiting MacEwan University Griffins team.

The Thunderbirds grabbed a decisive win, with the game ending with a final score of 6–1. This game was the first in a series of two back-to-back games played between both teams at Father David Bauer Arena.

The beginning of the first period was unproductive for the UBC team. They struggled to register shots and generate chances despite having better puck control than their opposition.

It was not until halfway through the period on their third power play that UBC was able to get a clean shot on net. Late in the first period, veteran T-Bird Tyler Sandhu opened the scoring with just 30 seconds remaining. Sandhu ended the game with a hat trick, scoring the remaining two goals in the third period.

Forward Matt Revel also found his way on to the board with two goals and led the team in shots on goal with seven. UBC forward Austin Vetterl had three assists, assisting on all of linemate Sandhu’s goal.

The visibly and audibly frustrated MacEwan team answered the Thunderbirds’ consistent pressure and puck possession with physicality. This resulted in increasing tension between the teams that came to a boiling point at the end of the third. A scuffle broke out resulting in UBC’s Quinn Benjafield, Revel and MacEwan’s Austin Yaremchuk all receiving 10-minute misconduct penalties.

The disgruntled MacEwan team went into Saturday’s game swinging, but ultimately it would be the Thunderbirds who would come out on top once more with a 4–2 win.

Rugby dominant in first win

The UBC Thunderbirds women’s rugby team got their first win of the season this past Sunday night against the University of Alberta Pandas. The ’Birds were back in action on campus after last week’s unsuccessful trip to Victoria where the they lost a nail-biter to rival the University of Victoria Vikes.

But this weekend would prove to be completely different, as not even the rainy weather stopped the T-Birds from absolutely dominating the Pandas in their meeting of the season.

The game started off strong with a successful try and conversion made by the T-Birds’ Shoshanah Seumanutafa at around the five-minute mark. Then the T-Birds finished off strong in the first half with a score of 27–0.

Emma Feldinger, Emily Baker, Beau Schellekens and Hunter Czeppel would all score for the T-Birds before the first half was over, giving the home team a mammoth 27–0 lead over the Pandas.

The rain did not stop during the second half, but with the momentum on their side, the T-Birds kept the pressure on the Pandas. However, the ’Birds’ Emma Feldinger and the Pandas’ Jody Siemens had to leave the game due to a head-to-head collision for which they both had to receive stitches.

Although the T-Birds were winning by 27 points, they kept pushing harder with more successful tries by Czeppel, Schellekens, Rachel Smith and Madison Gold. The game finished off with one more try, courtesy of Nicole Simoneau, at the 78th minute and ending the game with a final score of 63–0.

The ’Birds didn’t show a lot of mercy in their big win against the Alberta Pandas.
The ’Birds didn’t show a lot of mercy in their big win against the Alberta Pandas. Elizabeth Wang