Local bragging rights will be on the line this September as the Lower Mainland’s three university-based hockey programs, Trinity Western University, Simon Fraser University and UBC, will compete in the first ever Captains Cup, presented by the Vancouver Giants.
The round-robin format will see the three teams contest the Captains Cup over a two-week span, starting Sept. 15 when the Clan and Thunderbirds faceoff at UBC. The Spartans will join the foray the following night, Sept. 16, against SFU at the Surrey Sport & Leisure Centre. The final contest will see TWU take on UBC on the Thunderbirds campus Sept. 30.
The team securing the most victories over its two games will earn the Captains Cup.
The goal of the event is to promote university hockey in the Lower Mainland, while also raising awareness for the WHL’s Scholarship Program, which is available for players entering into post-secondary hockey.
“The WHL is the leading supplier of scholarships in Western Canada, and offers the most comprehensive scholarship in North America,” said Dale Saip, Vice President, Business Development with the Vancouver Giants. “The Vancouver Giants are pleased to support this exhibition series profiling our student-athlete alumni who are furthering their education while still competing at a very high level of hockey.”
Between the three teams, the 28 players on their collective rosters have experience playing in the WHL. This includes 22 players with UBC, four with TWU and two with SFU. Amongst Giants alumni, the T-Birds have four players who spent time in the WHL with Vancouver.
“Post-secondary hockey in B.C. has grown tremendously over the past decade, and this preseason showcase will highlight the level of play for Lower Mainland hockey fans,” said TWU coach Barret Kropf. “All of our rosters are filled with graduated WHL and Junior A players who have been fan favourites in the area for years, and now they are elite student-athletes at our schools. Having the support of the Vancouver Giants for an event like this is a credit to the partnerships that have grown between junior hockey and university hockey over the past decade.”
UBC coach Sven Butenschon, whose team has four former Vancouver Giants, said: “It’s awesome to get support from a WHL franchise like the Giants. With a strong connection to the WHL and the Giants, players are getting the chance to play junior hockey at an extremely high level in the WHL and, after that, still get an education at a prestigious university. I think it’s a great win for everyone.”
UBC enters the competition with a combined record of 9-1 against SFU and TWU. The Thunderbirds only loss against their BCIHL brethren was Jan. 6, 2012 when the Clan earned a 3-1 win. TWU and UBC played each other last year in an exhibition game for the first time ever, with the T-Birds winning 3-2.
Captains Cup Schedule
September 15th – SFU @ UBC – 7 p.m. (Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre)
September 16th – TWU @ SFU – 7 p.m. (Surrey Sport & Leisure Centre)
September 30th – TWU @ UBC – 2 p.m. (Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre)
Five-minute overtime, followed by a shootout.
If two teams are tied in points, the team that won the head-to-head matchup will be declared the winner.
If three teams are tied in points, the winner will be declared by the team with:
1) The most total goals for
2) The fewest total goals against
3) The fewest total penalty minutes
4) The team who scored the earliest goal in the event