UBC Winter Classic hockey game a cool new tradition

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Image: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds

Get off your futon, put down the microwavable mac and cheese, and go watch some hockey!

The UBC Thunderbirds hockey team will be hosting their second annual ‘Winter Classic’ tomorrow night. Cool idea.

Last year, the event got 3,000 people to the rink, which is an incredible number for university sports in this city.

This year, they’re hoping for an even better turnout.

Get a bunch of university students dripping with school spirit, some cheap beer, and some surprisingly high-level hockey, and you’ve got yourself some great atmosphere.

I think they’ve got something here.

The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) should be rocking tomorrow night.

Ok, so what is the Winter Classic? No, it’s not an outdoor hockey game where the home team’s hothead coach benches the city’s beloved future Hall-of-Fame goaltender.

It’s this:

Pregame starts at 5pm, puck drop at 7pm and the game wraps up by 9pm. The perfect start to everyone’s weekend tomfoolery. There will be music, community booths, prizes, food and drinks! Bring your friends, bring your roommates, bring your grandma! Let’s freaking do this UBC!

F E A T U R E S

T H E P L A Z A
★ AMS Clubs Showcase
★ Community booths from our UBC neighbours
★ Cheap beer
★ Food fair
★ Free giveaways

T H E G A M E
★ Cliche Canadian-style hockey
★ Mad amounts of school spirit/cheer

T H E PLAZA STAGE
★ Live Music from our favourite UBC homies –

T I C K E T S
★ Buy your tickets in advance and you will be entered into a draw* for some awesome prizes including a pair of lower bowl Canucks tickets!★

Tickets can be purchased online here – http://gothunderbirds.ca/news/2016/1/13/ubc-thunderbirds-winter-classic.aspx?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=event&utm_campaign=winterclassic

Or at the Nest at the UBC Athletics booth or AMS Events booth

UBC Students: $5
Blue Crew Pass Holders: FREE
General public: Same ticket prices in effect

*Prizes will be drawn at the Winter Classic and include 1x pair of Canucks lower bowl tickets!

Now, let’s talk about the hockey.

University hockey flies under the radar for the most part, particularly in Vancouver. A lot of people would be surprised to see just how good these players are.

Most of the roster is comprised of former WHL players who are now looking to get an education. They’re not likely heading for the NHL, but they’re older/better than they were as teenagers in junior.

Fans of the Vancouver Giants might recognize the names Joel Hamilton, Neil Manning, Wes Vannieuwenhuizen, and Austin Vetterl, all former G-Men. Manning played six seasons with the Giants, putting up 56 points in 2009-10 as a 19-year-old defenceman.

Their goaltenders, Matt Hewitt and Eric Williams, are coached by former Canucks goaltender Alex Auld. Here’s a feature on Auld put together by Aneesa Heatherington, Jacob Hall, Nick Arthur, and Siobhan Lidder from BCIT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_FWIkAdaBA

Good hockey, good atmosphere, cheap beer. Sounds like a plan.

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Rob Williams Sports Editor at Vancity Buzz covering all sports in Vancouver.
@robthehockeyguy

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