Madeira Park’s Joe Antilla scored a big goal, helping the UBC Thunderbirds to the Great Northwest Showcase tournament title last weekend in Burnaby.
Down 2-1 with under a minute left to play against NCAA division one powerhouse University of North Dakota (UND) last Friday night, Antilla tied the game with 52 seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime. In the extra frame, Jason Yee took a great feed from Antilla and made no mistake, beating UND goaltender Zane Gothberg top shelf for the game-winning goal.
“This is a game that our guys desperately wanted to win,” said UBC head coach Milan Dragicevic. “I give our guys a lot of credit. Joe Antilla had a strong game, Jason Yee was outstanding, both our goaltenders gave us an opportunity to win and I thought our penalty kill was fantastic. Overall we played hard for 65 minutes. I told the guys if we play like that and everybody buys in, we will have a lot of success in the Canada West.”
The following night, UBC edged Princeton 1-0 to complete the weekend sweep of NCAA division one competition. Antilla added an assist on the goal.
UBC went undefeated at the Great Northwest Showcase for the second straight year. The Thunderbirds won the 2013 tournament with triumphs over club squads from Arizona State University and the University of Oklahoma.
“We’re very proud of where we play and very proud of the conference we play in,” said Dragicevic when asked about the significance of the wins for the Canada West conference. “We’re very proud to represent UBC and the Canada West. I see great things in the future for UBC hockey.”
Antilla has scored points in four straight league games, and counting the games last weekend, he has a six-game point streak going.
The Thunderbirds will look to continue their momentum in league play, which resumes this weekend with games Jan. 10 to 11 in Regina against the Cougars. UBC (5-10-1) sits two points out of the last Canada West conference playoff spot.
— With files from UBC Athletics