Heat and Thunderbirds play to inter-institution stalemate

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UBC and UBC Okanagan both stay without a loss as they play to a draw (1-1) to end the first weekend of Canada West play.

KELOWNA, BC — The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the UBC Okanagan Heat played to a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon at Nonis Field in Kelowna.

UBC Okanagan held a 1-0 lead at the half, thanks to an early goal from Luke Warkentin in the 22nd minute. Warkentin capitalized on a rare misplay by All-Canadian Chad Bush, the Thunderbirds’ veteran goalkeeper.

UBC’s Kerman Mannu tied the match up at one goal apiece in the second half, beating Heat keeper Mitch McCaw in the bottom left corner on a penalty kick in the 58th minute.

Both teams played confident offence and physical defence. The Thunderbirds ended the match with 13 shots, while the Heat finished with six shots.

UBC held the momentum for most of the match, with much of the 90 minutes being spent in the Heat end. The Thunderbirds had the first three promising chances of the match, with Tyler Martens (12:06), Zach Verhoven (12:56), and Manbal Brar (19:53) taking good shots before the Heat’s first shot on goal, which came when Luke Warkentin scored in the 22nd minute for UBC Okanagan.

McCaw had to make six saves to Bush’s one, the most impressive of which came in the 70th minute when he dove to his right to stop an attempt from Pannu.

Aside from Warkentin’s goal, the best chance for the Heat came on a free kick in the 51st minute, which Hamish Walde put off the right post. Warkentin also had another good chance, but couldn’t put the ball past a sliding save from Bush.

In the 82nd minute Spencer Young, the freshman goal scorer for the Heat in last night’s match against the University of Victoria, was forced to leave the game after suffering an apparent injury when he stopped a hard Thunderbird shot with his head.

The UBC Thunderbirds, defending Canada West Champions and 13-time National Champions, had bested the UBC Okanagan Heat in their previous five meetings since the Heat joined the conference two seasons ago, including a 3-0 showing in the 2014 Canada West Quarter Finals. This is the first time that the Heat have played to a draw against the Thunderbirds.

Players of the Match were Thunderbird midfielder Karn Phagura and Heat keeper Mitch McCaw.

UBC Okanagan (1-0-1) will play their next match on Friday, September 2 when they travel to Langley to face undefeated Trinity Western (2-0-0). UBC (1-0-1) will play their next match on Saturday, September 3 when the host the University of Northern British Columbia (0-0-2).

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