A three-goal effort from Cassidy Rhodes takes the Birds to victory over Manitoba
VANCOUVER – It was indeed a “banner night” for the UBC Thunderbirds (2-1). On Friday night at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, the 2022 Canada West champion Thunderbirds kicked off the home portion of their 2022-23 regular season schedule in style. Rookie striker Cassidy Rhodes scored his first career hat trick in Canada West, Ireland Perrott added a goal and two assists and 11 different Birds found the scoresheet in a 6-1 win over the University of Manitoba Bisons (0-1). Manitoba’s only goal came from Hanna Bailey early in the first period.
Before the puck drop, the UBC Thunderbirds hoisted their 2022 Canada West Championship banner to the rafters of the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. An emotional moment, no doubt, for the legendary Thunderbirds program as they look forward to the challenge of repeating this championship in 2023.
“It was emotional to know all the hard work last season,” the head coach said. Graham Thomas. “It was a great way for us to honor our alumni, while being able to start a new adventure with this year’s band.”
It was the visiting Bisons who drew the first blood of the night. After 1:59 of play on a Manitoba power play, Hanna Bailey’s shot from the tip of the right wing changed direction and snuck home. The only assist on the play was credited to Sarah Dennehy and came on Manitoba’s first shot of the game.
Thomas added: “When you’re marked first it’s a tough way to start but we were resilient. We bounced back strongly and showed a lot of determination.”
At 6:15 of Game 1, UBC held a 6-1 shooting lead, and set up a fast and strong forecheck in position and had plenty of offensive zone time with all five skaters positively involved.
On their 10e period shot, UBC was finally rewarded when the sophomore forward Mia Bied set a bouncing puck in the slot area and fired a low shot past Kimberley Davidson. The second of Bierd’s young season was set up by Mya Healey and Hannah Koroll.
— UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) October 8, 2022
Both teams tried their luck in the second half of the first. UBC Joelle Fiala was sent off in the 13th minute on a close range backhand attempt. Then, on a late power play in Manitoba, Rachel Gottfried fired a shot off the tip of the goal post to tie the game.
The score was 1-1 after 20 minutes, with UBC holding a 17-10 shot lead, but Manitoba held a 3-1 power play lead.
1:13 into the second period, in the dying seconds of UBC’s first power play, Ireland Perrott scored his third goal in as many games on a tip. Sierra LaPlante once a Chanreet Bassi a pass from the top of the circle on the left wing towards the goal, and Perrott was in perfect position in front of the Manitoba goal for the low deflection.
UBC extended the lead to 3-1 at 11:04 on an odd run. Beginner Cassidy Rhodes took a pass from Analise Wong, skated quickly down the right wing and placed a shot perfectly inside the far post for his second goal of the young season. The second assist on the streak was awarded to Ashton Thorpe.
Territorially, it was another strong period for blue and gold. They outshot Manitoba 20-3 through the middle and created the offense in every situation. The best chance of the second that didn’t result in a goal for UBC came from a shorthanded run from Annalize Wong in the second half of the second half.
Manitoba applied decent pressure in the UBC zone in the final minute, but skated into the tunnel trailing by two goals after 40 minutes.
A solid two-way game of Joelle Fiala was rewarded early in the third period at 4:17 when she converted her first goal of the season on a one-timer in front of the net. Chanreet Bassi pocketed his second assist of the night, while Grace Elliot also taken into account in the game.
UBC’s tenacious efforts in the offensive zone yielded a pair of power-play chances near the midpoint of third, and the blue-and-gold would find twice as much pay thanks to Cassidy Rhodes.
Rhodes’ second of the night fired a slot shot from a weak spot in defensive coverage at 11:03.
Then a minute and 27 seconds later, Rhodes pounced on a rebound in front of the net on a Ireland Perrott scored his third of the night, his fourth of the season and his first career Canada West hat-trick.
“It’s not really sunk in yet,” Rhodes explained after the match. “I definitely know I’m going to look back on that game in a few years and think it was a really special game.”
— UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) October 8, 2022
When asked to reflect on Rhodes’ three-goal effort, Graham Thomas couldn’t help but beam when he spoke about Androssan, AB’s early impact on the 2022-23 T-Birds. He explained: “She was just around the puck all night. It’s good for her to feel that confidence and she joins a short list of former students who have scored hat tricks. I can think of a few- some but there weren’t too many. It’s amazing for her to win three pots as a rookie.”
UBC outshot Manitoba 48-18 on Friday and finished the night three for seven on the power play. Manitoba responded with a one-in-five power play effort.
These two adversaries will meet tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. to conclude their double header of the weekend.