Top-ranked T-Birds host Griffins with big points on the line for both –

VANCOUVER – Winners of six in a row and 11 of their last 12, the top-ranked UBC Thunderbirds will look to continue to gain steam with the playoffs approaching as they host the MacEwan Griffins Friday and Saturday, January 27 and 28 at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.

For what will be their final full weekend home series of the regular season, the T-Birds (18-2-2) can come closer to locking up a first-round bye should their impressive run on home-ice continue, having gone a perfect 11-0 at the Doug so far this season.

Currently sitting one point ahead of Alberta for top spot in the conference, the ‘Birds have already locked up a home-ice playoff berth and are in prime position to eventually secure one of the top two spots in the Canada West for a second straight season. But UBC isn’t taking anything for granted at this point, especially with a desperate Griffins (6-15-1) squad in town fighting for their playoff lives.

Ireland Perrott vs Saskatchewan, Jan. 14, 2023

“What we’re really just focussing on is consistency, execution, performance and recovery,” said UBC head Coach Graham Thomas. “The little habits and continuing to get better every week and every practice, that’s our main focus right now. We’ve done a good job to get to where we’re at but there’s a lot of big, exciting things coming up and we just have to stay the course and keep putting the work in.”

Fresh off a split against the Spartans in Langley last weekend, the Griffins are currently ten points back of Trinity Western for the sixth and final conference playoff berth. It’s do-or-die time for MacEwan as they’ll need to win out – and get some significant help – in order to find themselves in the Canada West postseason for the first time.

But in order to keep their hopes alive, the Griffins will have to contend with one of the country’s deepest, most balanced lineups in the T-Birds who have five players posting double digit goals. MacEwan got a taste of that depth earlier in the season when UBC outscored the Griffins by a 9-1 margin in a weekend sweep in Edmonton.

“I think that is the strength of our team in that goals can come from anywhere,” added Thomas whose T-Birds also boast the conference’s best goal differential at +44. “Any line can chip in, that gives your group confidence. And it’s hard as an opponent to match up or shut that down if they’re putting in all their effort into shutting down one line. It’s a next player up mentality that we have. It’s a nice problem to have down the stretch.”

With just three home games remaining, the T-Birds will use their final home series of the season to honour their graduating seniors Saturday prior to puck drop. And as far as the team is concerned, they could honour their veterans best by making sure they’ll still have at least a few more home games to play come the postseason.

Puck drop Friday is 7:00 p.m. PT at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre with Saturday’s senior game scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Tickets for both are available now and both will also be streamed live on Canada West TV.

News Read More: Top-ranked T-Birds host Griffins with big points on the line for both –

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