Saturday reading: UBC at CC exhibition notes, WCHA news

The University of British Columbia (1-1) plays at Denver at 7 p.m. Saturday, CC at 6:07 p.m. Sunday and at 6:05 p.m. Monday at Air Force. UBC sports information department provided these notes headed into this weekend:

The UBC Thunderbirds finished fifth in the seven-team Canada West conference last season with a record of 12-12-4, despite being picked by the league’s coaches to finish in last place.

Head coach Milan Dragicevic was named the Canada West Coach of the Year, goaltender Jordan White earned a place on the league’s Second All-Star Team.

Max Grassi, who led Canada to the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship title in the summer, finished 10th in Canada West scoring with nine goals and 16 assists in 25 games.

UBC lost its first-round playoff series 2-1 to the host University of Calgary Dinos.  The team lost seven players, Matt Pepe, Ryan Kakoske, Jordan Inglis, Marc Desloges, Adam Maglio, and Carson Loveday to graduation.

For this season, Dragicevic brought in eight recruits, including highly touted defenceman Neil Manning, who starred with the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants, and Joe Antilla, who helped the WHL’s Kootenay Ice to the Memorial Cup tournament in 2011. The other newcomers are: Brad Hoban, Jessi Hilton, Scott MacDonald, Linden Saip, Kevin Smith and Dillon Wagner.

Other key players for UBC this year will be defencemen Ben Schmidt and Jason Yee along with forwards Justin McCrae, the team captain who missed a large chunk of last season, and Scott Wasden.

UBC Thunderbirds hockey dates back to 1915.  Canada’s first national hockey team was established at the school in 1964.  In the 1973, the Thunderbirds became of the first Western teams to tour the People’s Republic of China, winning all seven of its games, including the first two against the Chinese national squad.

UBC’s current home rink is the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre on campus.  It opened in 2008 and hosted Olympic women’s hockey during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.  It also served as the main venue for sledge hockey at the 2010 Paralympics.

Here are notes from around the WCHA:

Minnesota talks about the upcoming season.

Michigan Tech readies for its exhibition opening weekend.

For the first time in 30 years, no North Dakota natives are on the UND roster.

Wisconsin adds a 16-year-old defenseman commit.

Alaska Anchorage got a commit from a 20-year-old forward. Sullivan Arena should be up and running by the Seawolves tournament.

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About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with 20-plus years of experience.

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