It was the second consecutive season that the Thunderbirds needed a shootout to defeat the Vikes for the title. UBC adds to their national record, claiming their 18th U Sports title in program history, and becomes the only team to have won six consecutive national banners dating back to 1975. The T-Birds improve to 18-6 in 24 national final appearances, while also bettering their head-to-head record over the Vikes to 12-11-7 in U Sports championship history.
“We played well enough to win today and that’s all that counts in tournament hockey,” said UBC head coach Robin D’Abreo. “I am so proud of these girls. This win was well deserved. I can’t say enough about our graduating seniors. They were the core of our team, they have been all year and they played fantastic games.”
After a scoreless first half, fifth-year Vikes forward and 2016 U Sports all-Canadian Amanda Kurianowicz opened the scoring in the 49th minute, tallying Victoria’s first goal since Friday off a penalty corner. The T-Birds evened the score in the 61st minute as fifth-year veteran Gabby Jayme scored off a penalty corner to force the shootout. UBC netminder Gabriella Switzer came up big for the T-Birds, stopping all four Vikes she faced, while 2016 U Sports co-player of the year Rachel Donohoe and fourth-year midfielder Sarah Keglowitsch both scored to secure the T-Birds victory.
Fifth-year UBC veteran Hannah Haughn earned championship MVP honours. Victoria ends the 2016 campaign with their 12th national silver medal in program history.
“I’m really proud of the transformation that this team has made since the beginning of the season,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “I think everyone stepped up after we lost Kathleen Leahy a couple of weeks ago. It’s going to be sad for me to lose the five players that I lose this year because they are such quality hockey players but more importantly they are such quality people. The winning or losing is what it is but I’m going to really miss those young ladies.”