VANCOUVER, B.C – The Canada West champion UBC Thunderbirds will drop the puck on the 2016/2017 season tonight at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre against the Saskatchewan Huskies. Coach Graham Thomas will be looking to guide his team to another CWUAA championship and a berth at CIS Nationals in Kingston, Ontario next spring.
The CIS silver medal winning Thunderbirds were an offensive force during preseason competition with a 7-0-0 record. UBC will look to carry that momentum into opening night. There will be a pregame banner raising celebration to honour the teams accomplishments from last season.
West Vancouver native, Haneet Parhar can’t wait to get the season underway.
“I’m very excited,” said Parhar. “Anytime we get to play on our home ice it’s an exciting moment and with it being our first game, we’ve waited a long time to get back on the ice. We’re all really excited.”
Parhar will start the season on a line with Hannah Clayton-Carroll, and Kathleen Cahoon. The trio will be counted on throughout the season to produce offensively for the Canada West no.1 ranked Thunderbirds. The Huskies are ranked 5th as the season begins. UBC went 4-0-0 vs Saskatchewan last season, but Parhar isn’t about to underestimate them.
“Each year it changes,” said Parhar. “It’s a new team for us, and a new team for them. We can’t take anyone lightly in this league, especially looking at last year and how competitive it is, up and down the standings. You can’t take any team lightly.”
Centre Logan Boyd will be one to watch this season. The third year sniper has a knack for the net and would like to see UBC’s continued dominance over Saskatchewan. Boyd is ready to go and in mid-season form when it comes to hockey clichés.
“New season, new year, so we’re just going to take them one game at a time and hopefully we can do that again.”
The six-foot, Boyd will be joined on her line by Nicole Saxvik and Cassandra Vilgrain giving UBC another dynamite scoring line. Boyd and her line-mates were clicking during preseason play and will look to find each other in open space. Opponents won’t be able to zero in on one scoring line. UBC is expected to have balanced scoring from all four lines.
“I’m really happy with my line so far,” admitted Boyd. “We’ve had some good chemistry together, we’ve been able to score some goals together and I really like playing with Cass (Cassandra Vilgrain) and Sax (Nicole Saxvik).”
Each Canada West team enters the season with the same goal. Win the conference championship, advance to CIS Nationals and bring home a medal, preferably gold. Not every team has a realistic shot at achieving this. The window is open for the UBC Thunderbirds and Logan Boyd is already thinking about a trip to Kingston, Ontario in March 2017.
“We’re going to go all the way this year, that’s our goal.”
UBC Thunderbirds vs Saskatchewan Huskies
Friday, October 7, 2016
Saturday, October 8, 2016