Weekend Rundown: Men's hockey finishes off a historic season with overtime thriller

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Men's hockey finishes second in the conference of their regular season

On Saturday night, the UBC men’s hockey team took to the ice for their final regular season game of the 2021/22 season. With a first-round bye on the line for the Thunderbirds, the visiting Trinity Western University Spartans did not plan on finishing out their season without a fight.

Thanks to overtime heroics from star rookie Chris Douglas, UBC won its fourteenth game of the season with a 4–3 victory on home ice.

In an impressive move, T-Bird’s head coach Sven Butenschön gave goaltender Dorrin Luding his first start of the season.

Luding, a Prince George product, spent the season as the team’s third netminder, working hard and staying motivated in hopes of receiving an opportunity. The start was also the first of his Canada West career.

Trinity Western opened the scoring late in the first period after continued back and forth action.

After a hard Spartans forecheck that drew the UBC defence below their goal line, Michael Spafford unleashed a slapshot from the point that was accidentally tipped past Luding by UBC forward Logan Foster.

After the costly blunder however, Butenschön’s confidence in the young forward didn’t waver. Foster made up for the mistake early in the second when he collected the puck off of an offensive zone faceoff and humbled Spartan’s goalie Berk Berkliev by sliding the puck five hole to tie the game at 1–1.

The T-Birds found success on the powerplay later in the middle frame with goals from Austin Glover and Jonathan Smart, but Trinity Western’s persistence kept them within one as UBC headed into the third period with a 3–2 lead.

UBC outplayed their opponents at both ends of the ice in the final period. However, a goal from Jordan Bogress tied the game at 3–3 early.

Although the T-Birds had already claimed a first-round bye in the Canada West playoffs by receiving an automatic point due to requiring extra time, they wanted to end their season with a win in front of their home fans.

The five minute 4-on-4 overtime period consisted of back-and-forth chances, with the T-Bird’s defence being the difference maker. Defenceman Conner McDonald was robbed by Spartan’s goalie Berkliev on a breakaway just over halfway through the frame. However, off the ensuing faceoff, UBC gained control of the puck and began cycling it around their opponent’s zone.

T-Birds rookie Douglas carried it from one side of the ice to the other before sneaking the puck through Berkliev for his team leading twelfth of the year, giving his team the 4–3 victory. In the net, Luding received his first Canada West victory, stopping 22 of 25 Trinity Western shots.

With the win, the T-Birds clinched second in the conference, the program’s highest placement since 1978. Also, the team’s record of 14–5–1 yielded their best winning percentage since 1972.

This season was nothing short of impressive, and with a first-round bye, the T-Birds will now set their sights on returning to the conference finals, and reaching their ultimate goal of playing for the University Cup.

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Women’s volleyball honours[could cut the] the graduating seniors with win against UBCO Heat

On Friday, the T-Birds defeated the UBCO Heat with 3–1 (22–25, 25–13, 25–19, 25–23) in the graduating seniors night. The home-court finale was intense and Heat gave a tough fight as the two teams were neck to neck for the most part.

Trinity Solecki, Elise Petit and Laura MacTaggart contributed with some crucial kills while Jess Goodridge totalled nine digs and two assists.

T-Birds started taking the lead midway through the first set taking the score to 16–12. T-Birds won the rally of the match in the first set. Heat took a lead after the technical timeout and the score tied at 22–22. A error from the T-Birds and an ace from the Heat made Heat the winner of the first set.

After losing the first set, T-Birds came back stronger and took a lead of 11–5 in the second set. UBC won another long rally and Brynn Pasin’s strong serves helped UBC take a massive lead with a score of 17–8. Some good kills by Elise Petit made T-Birds win the set by 12 points.

In the third set, T-Birds kept up a lead throughout with MacTaggart throwing a kill make the score 20–14. MacTaggart closed the set with another kill and UBC winning the set by 6 points.

The fourth set was tense as no team got a considerable lead. Heat put up a good fight but Emma Doyon’s ace got T-Birds the match point and won them the set only by 2 points.

“I think three parts of the match when we served really well, we kept them off balance and that really helped us a lot,” said head coach Doug Reimer after the match.

At the end of the match, Reimer honoured graduating seniors Goodridge and MacTaggart.

"I’ve loved being coach by Doug, Thomas [Beathen] and Jodi [Zbyszeweski] and all of the teammates that I have gotten to work with over the past couple years will always hold a really special place in my heard,” said Goodridge after the match.

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These game recaps refer to the games on February 18 and 19.