For the first time in the history of their team, the UBC women’s hockey team is hosting a playoff series.
Their winning record of 17 wins, seven losses and four overtime losses, is the best in team history and only their second winning record since the inaugural season in the 1997-98 when they went 3-2-1.
The T-birds are ranked in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Top 10 at No. 9, a jump from a Jan. 2005 ranking when they tied for 10th.
For freshman goaltender, Danielle Dube, her rookie year is a first despite the 36-year-old’s extensive professional and national team experience. With the T-birds, Dube played a full season of women’s hockey for the first time in her 18-year career as a university student. She had previously played with men’s pro teams.
For first-year T-birds head coach, Graham Thomas, solid goaltending has been one reason for the team’s incredible turnaround. The other is goal-scoring. For the first time (yes, another team record) the T-birds scored 2.68 goals per game, a program record that sets them third overall in Canada West.
Earlier this week, former T-birds coach Nancy Wilson became the first woman inducted in to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame. She may not have had a winning overall record with the UBC program, but Wilson built a tremendous expertise and experience as a player, organizer, coach and mentor during her career. She founded and owns the Centre-Ice Female Hockey School and consults with the Kazakhstan national women’s team.
UBC hosts the first round of playoffs Friday night against the University of Manitoba for a best-of-three series. Puck drops 7 p.m. at Father Bauer Arena.