Birds welcome Dinos to CW quarterfinal battle
VANCOUVER – After a wild and compressed regular season, the UBC Thunderbirds open the 2021 Canada West playoffs Sunday afternoon at Thunderbird Stadium when they host the Calgary Dinos for a quarterfinal game.
This is the first time the two cross-mountain rivals have met since the T-Birds (4-2-6) defeated Calgary (4-2-4) in the 2019 Conference Championship game. Another win for UBC on Sunday would bring them one step closer to their goal of securing a fourth straight Canada West title and another trip to the national tournament.
“A crazy last weekend is a fitting end to what has been a roller coaster season for us and for many teams,” said the UBC head coach. Mike mosher, nine-time conference champion. “But, this is the playoffs, it’s a blank slate from here. We’re happy to be able to host a home game but there aren’t any easy games this time of year. We’ve certainly been through our fair share of adversity this year and you hope these experiences provide learning opportunities, but I guess we’ll find out. “
The longtime T-Birds coach is not talking about the level of adversity UBC faced in 2021, especially when it comes to injuries. But that only tested the depth of the team and, although perhaps thanks to a fire try, it gave critical experience to young players who can only benefit in the long run.
“I think the morale and the relentlessness of the squad to stay focused on every game and every weekend has been pretty good,” Mosher added. “Despite some of the major bumps on the road we have taken on our way this year, we have always maintained that we are in control of our destiny and that the goals of trying to win a conference championship and qualify for national championships and do well there, these remain the same and well under our control. “
The aforementioned roller coaster alone last weekend saw the Birds abandon a 2-0 decision to Victoria on Friday night, followed by a 4-0 victory on Saturday in their biggest winning margin all season. UBC then secured a rare fortune on Sunday when the UNBC Timberwolves beat Thompson Rivers, which kept the Birds in the second seed in the West Division, allowing them to host the quarterfinal.
– UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) October 29, 2021
Despite their similar regular-season records, the T-Birds and Dinos have advanced to the playoffs in very different ways. UBC led the division with 20 goals this year as Calgary conceded just eight goals in 10 games.
“There will definitely be some familiar faces, some of what we saw in the 2019 Canada West Championship game. After seeing them on video, it’s a big team, a relatively physical team, and they will come after that, there is no doubt about that. “
The first home win or game of the year for the T-Birds kicks off at 1:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, October 31st at Thunderbird Stadium. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. The game will also be broadcast live on Canada West TV.