Wednesday, 10 February 2021

An All-UBC Wednesday

It's not often that two UBC Thunderbirds find their way into interviews on social media on the same day by two different entities, but it happened today when former UBC Thunderbird Cassandra Vilgrain and current UBC Thunderbird Jaedon Cooke had interviews posted! Having been lucky enough to watch these two players from the broadcast booth, both are excellent hockey players of whom UBC should be proud, and their interviews today were fantastic as we got to learn a little more about each of them!

The first interview comes from Hockey Alberta's Ted Emmett and was posted on the Hockey Canada website as part of Hockey Canada's Black History Month as Emmett sits down with Cassandra Vilgrain remotely to discuss her experiences in hockey. Vilgrain is the daughter for former NHL forward and Team Canada forward Claude Vilgrain, and she discusses the experiences she had in hockey as a Black woman while playing at a high level.

Honestly, to hear some of the experiences that Cassandra went through is pretty terrible, but I can tell you that she was a standout hockey player at the University of British Columbia despite some of these negative moments. Vilgrain played a pair of seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds as #91, amassing 14 goals and 26 assists in 49 games. She led the squad in point in the 2016-17 season while helping them earn a U SPORTS National Championship bronze medal with a win over the Concordia Stingers. As seen above, she's still quite active in the Hockey Alberta scene with clinics and coaching, and it's good to see Cassandra Vilgrain doing extremely well after completing her eligibility at UBC!

The other UBC Thunderbirds player giving an interview today was Jaedon Cooke! Cooke is still a Thunderbirds forward today, and she spoke with UBC's Jeff Sargeant, Coordinator of Media Relations & Communications, about what she's been up to with no Canada West hockey happening!
Cooke, as stated, was at home in Manitoba for Christmas, and it's always nice to see those who grew up learning their craft here come home for a while. Cooke wears the highest number for the T-Birds in #98, and her four seasons thus far have seen her play in 67 games while scoring six goals and adding seven helpers. She was part of the 2017 team that captured the bronze medal at the U SPORTS National Championship long with Vilgrain. She played three years with the MFHL's Westman Wildcats before heading to the west coast!

If the adage is true, the worst thing about being talked about is not being talked about, and I feel it's my duty to promote any and all Canada West women's hockey news whenever possible. It has been tough not having a season not only for players, but for coaches, parents, fans, staff, and broadcasters like myself. Because of that, seeing these two amazing women get a little airtime today made me smile.

When university makes its return, please get out and support the game for both the men and the women. It's fast, exciting hockey, and the UBC Thunderbirds have an exciting team with great goaltending, a few key sharpshooters, and a ton of personalities like Cassandra and Jaedon! Get out of your nest and go see the T-Birds in action in September!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

No comments: