UBC Thunderbirds forward, Jenna Carpenter-Boesch following practice on Wednesday, November 16.

UBC Thunderbirds forward, Jenna Carpenter-Boesch following practice on Wednesday, November 16.

VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s going to be a family affair at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre with UBC’s Jenna Carpenter-Boesch going up against Regina’s Lilla Carpenter-Boesch. The Thunderbirds and Cougars will feature a first time Canada West sibling rivalry between the Gray, Saskatchewan natives.

Jenna is in her fifth year with the UBC, and younger sister Lilla, is in her rookie season with Regina. The Carpenter-Boesch sisters grew up playing hockey in a unique town 40 km southeast of Regina.

“It was very small,” said Jenna Carpenter-Boesch. “We always went to the rink every Friday and Sunday. We scrimmaged a lot on the ice, we did a lot of shinny out there. It was a nice small town community feel. (A) you know everyone kind of thing. It was fun place to grow up in.”

Having special access to the local rink helped develop both Jenna, Lilla, as well as their sister Jylelle Carpenter-Boesch, who most recently played for the Nipissing University Lakers last season.

“We played a lot because my dad was a board member of the rink,” said Lilla Carpenter-Boesch. “We got to work on our shots and be on the ice all the time. Being around that community definitely helped me develop as a player, there were always people around to teach you skills and help you improve.”

Heading into the battle on the ice, UBC remains atop the USports rankings for the fourth week in a row with a 9-1-0 record. Regina are 6-4-0 this season and sitting in fourth position in Canada West. This is going to be a measuring stick for the Cougars and Lilla Carpenter-Boesch can’t wait.

“I’m really excited, there’s been a bit of friendly trash talk going on already. UBC is a really good team so it should be a good game. There’s a lot of hype around their team, so we’ll need to not put too much pressure on our systems and habits and not over think the game.”

Speaking of trash talking, you can tell that a friendly war of words has broken out between the Carpenter-Boesch combatants. The eldest, could get the last laugh on the scoreboard and in the corners.

“Yeah, she’s definitely been trash talking me. It’s very competitive, I don’t know if we’ll be friends after the game. She’s a bit of a hot head, so it’ll be exciting to play against her.”

The Carpenter-Boesch’s can do much more than trash talk. Both have been productive scorers this season for the Thunderbirds, and Cougars, respectively. Lilla scored a goal and an assist in her Canada West debut on Friday, October 7. She has put up 2 goals and 2 assists in 10 games. Jenna scored her first goal and assist of the season on Friday, November 4, at Lethbridge.

Who is the more talented and skilled Carpenter-Boesch? That depends on who you ask.

“I’d say Jenna is more skilled defensively,” revealed Lilla Carpenter-Boesch. “I think I’m able to anticipate things and stick-handle around defenders a bit better. Jenna finds her success by working really hard, and I think it has come more naturally to me.”

“Probably her,” said Jenna Carpenter-Boesch. “She’s more of a playmaker, and better at scoring, but I’m a harder worker. I think she’s learning a lot with her team so she’ll come out better than I saw her last.”

There will be a large Carpenter-Boesch contingent in the stands. Parents are flying in, aunts, uncles, and cousins will be visiting from Seattle for the epic showdown. The Carpenter-Boesch’s will also be having a big American Thanksgiving celebration.

UBC Thunderbirds Coach, Graham Thomas will try to get both sisters on the ice for a few shifts.

“It’s pretty neat for them,” said Thomas. “I know the family’s coming out, I’m sure they’ve had it circled on their calendar for a while. We know the family so well, we’ve got to know the family the last five years. We go (visit) when we’re in Regina every year. They’re such gracious hosts and they cook for us, we go to their house for a meal as a team every year. It’s amazing food.”

At one point there was a possibility that Lilla Carpenter-Boesch would join her sister in a UBC Thunderbirds jersey. In the end, UBC wasn’t able to offer an available opportunity.

“We’ve got to know Lilla quite a bit,” said Thomas. “We were actually interested in recruiting her. We didn’t have enough available spots that year. She’s a good player, I know of her, I know the family extremely well. It’ll be special for the sisters and both teams.”

Now that Lilla has settled in with the Regina Cougars everything has worked out. Yes, it would have been nice to have both Carpenter-Boesch sisters playing for one Canada West team, but player movement isn’t always easy to put together. Before deciding, Lilla was able to talk to Jenna about life at UBC.

“Being the youngest sister, I wanted to be closer to home. I was looking for a smaller-sized school, because I had heard from Jenna that it can be tough to be a student-athlete at a big school. I had a good experience meeting with Coach (Sarah) Hodges and the rest of the team – everyone was really friendly and it made me feel welcome.”

“I wanted her to come here, but obviously it didn’t really work out,” said Jenna Carpenter-Boesch. “I think Regina’s good for her because it’s kind of a smaller feel and she’s closer to home. I think it’s good to have that support system close to home for her. Also, Regina’s a good team, and they were really interested in her. It was a good decision for her.”

The off ice banter will take a back seat for sixty-minutes on Friday and Saturday. It will be a special for Jenna, Lilla, and the family, and friends that have supported them along the way. There will be goals, assists, penalties, power-plays, and if you listen carefully, a roar from the crowd when the Carpenter-Boesch sisters step on the ice.

 

UBC Thunderbirds vs Regina Cougars 

Friday, November 18, 2016

7:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

4:00 p.m.

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