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Thunderbirds hand Timberwolves a 4-0 defeat

After a back-and-forth start to the match with quality chances at both ends, the UBC Thunderbirds pulled away from a young UNBC Timberwolves side, topping the TWolves 4-0 on Friday in Prince George,

With six freshmen in the UNBC starting 11, Steve Simonson’s team was giving up plenty of experience on opening day, but came out and earned the best early chance. A cross into the box found Canada West Player of the Year Michael Henman, but his header beat hit the crossbar behind Bennett McKay and stayed out.

A minute later, a pinball play around the top of the TWolves box squirted free after hitting every UNBC and UBC player in the vicinity, before Bradley Richardson located it and beat an outstretched Daniel Zadravec.

In the 35th minute, after both teams took turns pushing the play into opposing territory, the T-Birds doubled their lead. Again, on a bit of weird sequence, the ball careened around the top of the UNBC box, before veteran Chris Lee found it and slid it under Zadravec for his first of the campaign.

Mike Mosher’s side applied early pressure in the second half, and it resulted in the straw that broke the camel’s back. A missed coverage left striker Sebastian Dzikowski all alone yards from Zadravec, and unmarked by any TWolf. His header was saved beautifully by Zadravec but it bounced directly back to the dangerous forward who deposited his second look.

Dzikowski would add another just two minutes later, getting a glancing header to change directions just enough to bound off the far post and in for his second of the game.

Simonson went to his bench, inserting six reserves, who showed great mettle and battled a talented T-Birds team set on earning a sixth consecutive Canada West title. When the referee blew the final whistle, UBC had earned three points on a 4-0 victory.

Zadravec was courageous in net, making ten saves under constant duress, while rookies Isaac Tate and Zack Sidhu impressed in their first university game.

Dzikowski, who had four goals in 2022, started the season with a two goal, one assist effort. McKay made three saves to earn the clean sheet.

The two teams will play again on Sunday, at 11 a.m. at Masich Place in Prince George.

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