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UBC Thunderbirds: Eventful Opening Weekend

Thunderbirds’ Vilgrain, Saxvik tied for lead in CIS in scoring

UBC endures highs and lows in first weekend of play
Rich Lam

CIS Women’s Hockey opened its season this past weekend with 8 out of 9 games played by Canada West teams. Manitoba, Alberta, and Regina all went undefeated, winning by a combined 24GF to 5GA.

UBC makes headlines despite 1st loss to Huskies since 2014

An undisciplined first period left UBC stunned and eventually defeated in game two by a score of 5-3 after logging a shutout just the day prior to Saskatchewan. However, despite splitting the series, UBC had a big weekend in women’s hockey. With several alumni present, the Thunderbirds hosted a banner raising ceremony to honor their 2015-2016 Canada West championship team prior to the first game. In addition, prior to the second game, the Thunderbirds honored team co-founder and first head coach, Laura Bennion, by retiring her jersey.

Hear what Bennion has to say about her special night:

Although UBC is likely not happy about the manner in which they lost their second game of the year, the talent on their team has gotten off to a promising start. The top two scorers in CIS Women’s Hockey are currently UBC forwards: UBC 4th year Cassandra Vilgrain (Calgary, Alberta) and 5th year Nicole Saxvik (North Vancouver, British Columbia) are both tied for the league lead in points with 5.

A UNH Wildcats transfer out of the NCAA, Vilgrain has rich bloodlines as her dad, Claude, is a former New Jersey Devil and Canadian National team player. With 3 years of Hockey East experience under her belt, her transition to CIS has been seamless, giving the reigning champs another strong offensive weapon.

Starting at :47 seconds you can see Vilgrain’s goal and post game comments from Friday’s match:

UBC takes on Calgary (0-1-1) this upcoming Friday, October 14th at 7PM PDT.