VANCOUVER – Seeking to advance to the Canada West gold medal game for a second straight season, the UBC Thunderbirds face a solid test in their semifinal clash against the MacEwan Griffins on Friday night in Langley.
It’s a battle between two attacking powers, both of which rarely concede a goal. But only one will be able to advance to Saturday’s conference final while earning a spot for the next U SPORTS national championship.
âWe really focused on our identity, which is to say that it is difficult for the teams to play against us and to maintain control of the games. Jesse symons whose team are aiming for back-to-back trips to the domestic tournament for the first time since 2016. âEveryone is healthy, everyone is ready to play and we’re excited to do our best against MacEwan.
In qualifying for this weekend’s final four with a 5-0 destruction of the Regina Rams at Thunderbird Stadium last Friday, the T-Birds’ offense is in full swing, but it’s the stingy defense of the ‘UBC that could give them the biggest advantage over their opponents.
UBC ended the regular season conceding just four goals against in 12 games, tied with Final Four host Trinity Western Spartans to say the least, while setting a new program record in one season.
As for MacEwan, it’s their offense that has propelled them this far, scoring 32 goals in 12 regular season games, just behind TWU in Western Canada. The Griffins added another pair in last weekend’s 2-0 win over the Fraser Valley Cascades in their quarterfinal game.
The Griffins have had a stellar campaign so far, posting a 10-2 regular-season record, the second-most winning streak in the league.
âMacEwan had a great season, they finished strong beating Calgary to win the division and we know they will be a good opponent,â added Symons. âMacEwan has really built up as a program, they’ve been a lasting team in the Canada West last four and we’ve had some really close games with them. We expect a tough opponent who will keep the ball and try to move. and trying to throw us off balance, I think it’s going to be a fantastic game on Friday night. “
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– UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) November 4, 2021
Defending U SPORTS champions T-Birds last faced the Griffins in September 2018, when UBC won a 1-0 regular season victory in Edmonton. Friday night’s semi-final marks the third all-time playoff meeting between the two teams, with UBC winning each of the previous two: a 1-0 victory in the conference bronze medal game in 2016, and a victory 2-1 in the Canada West semi-final the following year, both also play for Langley.
The winner of Friday’s semi-final will face either Saskatchewan or the host Spartans in Saturday’s conference gold medal game while securing one of Canada West’s two spots at the U SPORTS national championship in Nova Scotia. Scotland.
Kick-off between the T-Birds and Griffins is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT at Chase Office Field in Langley. The game will be broadcast live on Canada West TV.