UBC Thunderbirds

November 2, 2012, TORONTO (CIS) – The top-seeded UBC Thunderbirds sit atop the standings after the second of three days of preliminary round action at the FHC – CIS women’s field hockey championship thanks to a convincing 5-0 win over the third-ranked Guelph Gryphons, Friday afternoon at Varsity Centre.

The reigning national champion Thunderbirds (2-0-1) have seven points with one round robin game remaining. Guelph (2-1-0) is second with six points, followed by tournament host Toronto (1-1-1) with four, Western (1-1-0) with three and Victoria (0-3-0), which has yet to get on the board.

UBC and Guelph both wrap up the preliminary stage against Western on Saturday. The Gryphons will go first at 10 a.m., while the T-Birds get to enjoy a longer rest and will face the Mustangs at 4 p.m. The McCrae Cup final is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.

“Everybody played really well today,” said UBC head coach Hash Kanjee. “The defence were definitely on today. Getting those nice goals from [Katherine] Gillis was good – it gave us a little bit of cushion.”

“Today was a tough day going out against the No. 1 and 2 teams,” said Gryphons head coach Michelle Turley, whose troops upset OUA champion Toronto 3-2 in the morning. “We’ve got to go out and play our game tomorrow and we’ll rebound for sure.”

The Thunderbirds struck first in the ninth minute when Hannah Haughn, the CIS rookie of the year from West Vancouver, B.C., sent a beautiful pass across the circle to fellow all-Canadian Katherine Gillis from Toronto, who one-timed the ball to find the back of the net.

The Gryphons almost got on the board in the 27th minute when CIS player of the year Brittany Seidler of Oliver, Ont., came running into the circle and beat the goaltender Bea Francisco, but was denied by a great defensive effort from Vancouver native Shanlee Johnston.

Gillis notched her second goal of the game just three minutes later on a very similar play, taking a pass from Haughn on the right side and firing it past goalie Kaye McLagan of Mitchell, Ont.

UBC held a 2-0 lead at the half.

Natalie Sourisseau, an all-Canadian from Kelowna, B.C., increased the advantage to 3-0 with her third goal of the tournament in the 44th minute, and Delta, B.C., native Sara McManus scored on a penalty stroke and a penalty corner opportunity in the 51st and 67th minutes, respectively, to round out the scoring.

Francisco of Richmond, B.C., registered her second shutout in three starts.

GAME NOTES: UBC holds the all-time record with 13 McCrae Cup triumphs… Guelph fell 1-0 in overtime to Toronto in its only CIS final appearance in 2007 at Varsity Centre.