The historic season for men's hockey comes to an end in double overtime
On Friday night, the UBC men’s hockey team took to the ice in Wolfville, Nova Scotia for their University Cup quarter final matchup against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes (UQTR).
Despite a courageous performance from the Thunderbirds, taking the game to double overtime, the Patriotes knocked them out of the tournament by handing them a 2–1 loss.
After a back-and-forth opening frame, UQTR opened up the scoring with just one second left in the period and took the momentum into the intermission.
UBC didn’t answer back until halfway through the game, when rookie winger Cyle McNabb used his speed to find himself all alone on a breakaway. After a disappointing Canada West playoffs, the former Vancouver Giant capitalized when it counted, as he slipped the puck past Patriotes netminder Alexis Gravel to tie the game at 1–1.
For the remainder of regulation, it was a goaltending battle. Gravel, a former sixth-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018, frustrated the T-Birds with his excellent rebound control, while at the other end, this year's named U Sports goaltender of the year, Rylan Toth, continued his dominance.
Neither goalie broke at the end of 60 minutes and the game headed into its first overtime.
The opening extra frame was only ten minutes in length, but that didn’t stop Toth from staying busy. He stopped all eight UQTR's shots, sending the game into its second overtime, a 20-minute frame this time.
The UBC netminder made his fiftieth just under ten minutes into the fifth period, a season high, bailing out his undeserving team multiple times.
The T-Birds had their fair share of chances on Gravel, but were unable to receive a fortunate bounce. Then, moments after the TV timeout, the Patriotes broke into the UBC zone in what appeared to be a harmless rush. UQTR’s Félix Sabourin-Lauzon threw the puck on net and, after an unlucky bounce off of UBC defender Conner McDonald’s stick, found the back of the net. Just like that, on the Patriotes’ 50-second shot of the game, the T-Birds season was over.
Toth was named UBC’s player of the game for his incredible effort and though it turned out to be the final game of his university career, he couldn’t be disappointed with his performance.
For him and the team’s other five graduating players, Tyler Sandhu, Matt Revel, Austin Glover and Shaun Dosanjh, the hockey world hopes it's not the last time they hit the ice competitively.
Now, heading into the off-season, head coach Sven Butenschön is faced with the task of preparing his new look team for next season, after some well-earned time off.
T-Birds baseball sweeps weekend series against Oregon Mountaineers
Although the weather hasn’t been in the T-Birds favour during their home games for this season, they didn’t let it spoil the fun while playing against the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers from April 2 and 3.
Only getting to play three of the four games this weekend due to weather delays causing the fourth game on Sunday evening to be suspended, the T-Birds played a strong game reading their opponents moves right after the first inning Saturday afternoon.
The 'Birds were aggressive on the plate taking a big 6–0 lead by the end of fourth inning but the Mountaineers ended UBC pitcher Shane Laforest's shutout with Mountaineers' Tomo Horie securing a run for the team.
Laforest stayed on plate for eight innings only allowing for four hits on twenty-six batters, switching places with Otis Pritchett. The Mountaineers were able to score three more runs with Pritchett pitching but the defence pulled through making a ground-ball double play to end the game with 10–4.
The T-Birds carried this momentum from the first games win into the second game of the double header on Saturday. Branden Woods stepped up to the plate, setting a great tone for the game with consistent strikes.
The offence also had a great start taking a quick 3–0 lead in the game. Adding onto their lead in the bottom of the third inning, Jonny McGill's hit found its way through the middle of the field for a perfectly set up two RBI single making it 5–0 in favour of the T-Birds.
The Mountaineers fought back in the seventh inning bringing the game up to 5–3, but Mitchell Middlemiss was able to secure a run in the next inning to extend the T-Birds lead to 6–3. Vicarte Domingo closed off the game striking out two of three batters who stepped up to the plate to help the Mountaineers battle back.
After sweeping the Mountaineers on Saturday, the T-Birds were looking for a battle from their opponents Sunday morning and with the rain picking up the Mountaineers were aiming to capitalize off any of the T-Birds errors. However, UBC powered through the game securing a 8–4 win, sweeping the weekend series.
This Weekend Rundown refers to the games from April 1 to 3, 2022.