Columbia athletics

T-Birds claim third straight Captains Cup

VANCOUVER — The UBC Thunderbirds are the 2021 Captains Cup champions after beating the Trinity Western Spartans 7-2 in the tournament final on Saturday afternoon at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.

After Ryleigh Anderson scored late in the second to bring the Spartans under two, the T-Birds added three more in the final period, including two on the power play, to secure their third consecutive Captains Cup while completing the pre-season schedule a perfect 5 -0.

“It’s been a real chore with the combination of the first month of real school for a lot of guys, some exams mixed in there and all the work on the ice that they’ve done and in the gym, so it’s a good way to finish things,” said the UBC head coach Sven Butenschon. “The Captains Cup is always cool to play and it was a great opportunity for us as coaches to see the group in all sorts of situations. Everyone contributed and was able to contribute and we are looking for more as we go along. as. before.”

Conner McDonald opened the scoring just 54 seconds from the start of the game on a great run on fresh ice, but the Spartans were able to counter through Jadon Joseph as the game was tied after 20 minutes.

Carson Miller broke the deadlock early in the second with a powerplay snipe, his fourth of the preseason.

Carson Miller vs. TWU, October 9, 2021

The ‘Birds opened up a two-goal lead six and a half minutes into the second period when the UBC captain Tyler Sandhu tipped at home Ryan Pouliot punch.

Rookie T-Bird Scott Atkinson shot his fourth of the preseason, just after a face-off on a TWU punt, slamming the puck over the shoulder of Spartans goaltender Talor Joseph. Chris Douglas picked up the only assistant.

Trinity Western came back in a pair with just under five minutes left in the period as Anderson took a low feed and beat the T-Birds keeper Rylan Toth very high.

Things got rather hectic in the latter stages of the period with 12 minutes of combined penalties awarded in the final five minutes.

Jack Wismer vs. TWU, October 9, 2021

If the Spartans had any thoughts of a third-period comeback, those thoughts were quickly dashed as the T-Birds struck twice in the first three minutes.

Shank Tyszka marked only 90 seconds after the start of the last frame and Quinn Benjafield added a power-play goal on a scramble just over a minute later as UBC took a four-goal lead.

“I think it speaks to the depth of our forward group, if you’re relentless and you have four lines on forecheck and you’re constantly chasing defenders so they can’t cleanly get out of their own zone, and you get to rebound first, eventually the dam will break,” Butenschon added. “That’s what we’ve seen and I think they’ll be a really fun group to coach.”

Jonathan Smart, Carson Miller, Cyle McNabb vs. TWU, October 9, 2021

The ‘Birds added another power play goal at 5:39 of the third as Cyle McNabb deflected a Jonathan Smart blast to make it a five-goal UBC advantage.

As the game approached the midpoint of the third, a scary moment occurred when one of the referees took a puck in the mouth after it deflected off the crossbar following a slap shot. Luckily, he was able to get off the ice on his own after a few worrisome moments, but both teams agreed to call the game off early.

UBC finished 3 for 10 on the power play and killed all three opportunities for TWU. The ‘Birds also topped the shot clock, by a 35-11 margin as Toth took the win in goal.

These two teams are just beginning their Canada West rivalry as they meet again next weekend to open the regular season. The two-game series begins Friday, October 15and at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Center with puck drop at 7 p.m. PT.