The Concordia Thunder Athletics Department – in concert with the CSA and the CAST Peer Support team – will be staging a number of events this week to promote the ACAC-wide initiative 'Make Some Noise for Mental Health." This health and wellness initiative is designed to shine a light on those issues that have often been relegated to the shadows and to reduce the stigma that is so often associated with mental and emotional Health issue. We invite all Concordia students, faculty and staff to participate in the campus-wide activities during the week. A complete list of planned activities and featured events is listed below (and by clicking on the PDF below that) so please come out, support your fellow students and your Thunder athletes and let's 'Make Some Noise for Mental Health'!
This weekend the Thunder had a pivotal match up against the Portage College Voyageurs. Going into the weekend the two teams were tied for the last playoff spot which set up an exciting series. On Friday night the Thunder were in Lac La Biche. The Thunder struggled to find their legs in the first 2 periods and despite goals from Romano Morrison and Adam Wheeldon they trailed 3 to 2 going into the third. However, they came out flying in the third period with 2 power play goals from Jordan Busch and Brady Bakke. Jacob McNutt would record the eventual game winner later in the period and the Thunder added two empty net goals to win 7 – 4. Tanner McCorriston made 34 saves in the win.
Saturday night on home ice and with a chance to sweep the weekend set, the Thunder came out fast. Brady Bakke scored twice in the 1st to take a 2 to 0 lead. In the second period the Thunder got two shorthanded goals on the same penalty from Ian McLellan and Jordan Busch. The rest of the way Adam Moghrabi added 2 goals, Romano Morrison scored on the power play and Chase Fallis added another goal late to help the Thunder to a dominating 8 to 0 win. Rookie Tanner McCorriston continued to shine in the net picking up his second shutout of the year. "The boys played hard all weekend and it was nice to see them get rewarded with a big performance tonight," said Associate coach Matt Parks. "We have a long way to go but this team is maturing and learning how to put together a 60 minute game," he added.
The Thunder look forward to continuing their playoff push as they face the Augustana Vikings this coming weekend. The home game goes Saturday night at Clareview with the puck dropping at 8:15 PM.
The Thunder Men's Basketball team opened the second half of the ACAC North schedule with a tough two game set against the Lakeland Rustlers. The Thunder and Rustlers were tied with 20 points with the Thunder having two games in hand and the head-to-head wins in the previous two matchups. Game one at the RKAC saw the Thunder grab a 5 point halftime lead but let the Rustlers comeback and hold a 5 point lead of their own heading into the 4th quarter. The Thunder would dig deep and win the final frame by a 32-14 margin pulling out the 84-71 win. Leaders for the Thunder – Ryan McLaren with 19 points, Kwame Kang with 14, Brett Jakubec with 13, Mike Malin with 12 and Euriah Pemberton with 11.
Game two out in Lloydminster would see the Thunder go down as many as 14 points to the Rustlers but would not fold and in the end were able to come back and defeat the home side by a final score of 79-73. Leaders for the Thunder – Ryan McLaren with 22 points and 6 rebounds, Brett Jakubec added 14 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, Kwame Kang notched 13 with Will Pittman adding 8 big points off the bench. “Great way to get the second half of the season rolling,” remarked Coach Reagan Wood after the wins. “When we have balance and effort we are able to overcome a lot of obstacles. Lakeland is a great team that we are battling with for the division title this year so to be able to go 4-0 against them is unbelievably huge for us. We have to maintain our focus and energy the rest of the way. Every team in our division is dangerous; each game is a battle.”
The Thunder will welcome the Keyano Huskies to the RKAC this coming weekend for a two game set. The Thunder took the first two games of the season series in Ft. McMurray in October. Tip off times are Friday night at 8 and Saturday afternoon at 1 PM.
The Thunder Women's Basketball team kicked off the second half of their ACAC season with a home and home showdown with the Lakeland College Rustlers. Going into the match the Thunder were sitting in 2nd place in the North Division and the Rustlers came in at 3rd place, so this was a pivotal match for both teams. Friday night at home, the Thunder jumped out to an early lead, setting the tone with a 19-8 lead. “We looked great; we looked ready to play and that’s a great way to start 2017,” stated Head Coach Robbie Valpreda. However, the second quarter saw Lakeland take over the driver's seat and cut the Thunder lead to 25-23 going into the half. In the third stanza, the Thunder got their legs back with 4th year guard Shyanne Walton and 5th year guard Nakita Newman leading the way. The Thunder pulled away in the fourth quarter leading by as much as 13 pts before sealing the deal with a 58-49 win. “We played well for 3 out of 4 quarters. We got through some poor decisions and that’s great as it shows we have some character. I’m not pleased with the way we shot the ball tonight from the 3pt field (2-12) but we were more consistent at the FT line and that gave us the momentum we needed to get the win”. The Player of the Game went to Shyanne Walton with 7pts, 9 rebs, 3 asst and 3 steals. The Thunder Women’s Basketball team would also like to thank the Thunder Men’s and Women’s Volleyball teams for all their support; it was greatly appreciated!
Saturday night the action moved to Lakeland College, one of the toughest venues in the ACAC. “I told them that we had to play tough tonight, to ignore the outside noise," opined Valpreda. Once again, the Thunder jumped out to an early lead with Nakita Newman scoring the first five points for the Thunder. But the Rustlers would answer back with some hot shooting on the perimeter and devastating rebounding, outscoring the Thunder 11-2 on 2nd chance points. “We have to do a better job of battling under the rim. Those long rebounds killed us and our guards have to stay home to clean the glass.” The Rustlers outscored Concordia 22-11 in the 2nd quarter and went into halftime with a 37-28 lead. In the 2nd half, the Thunder locked down the Lakeland on the defensive end but couldn't get anything to fall on offense. "We had great looks at the rim, missed lay-ups, missed shots and missed free throws. We were good defensively but again we stood and watched; we never moved and we settled for bad shots,” lamented Coach Valpreda. In the end, the Thunder fell 63-52 to the scrappy Lakeland squad. “Give them credit; they were more physical than us, they beat us to loose balls and they simply wanted it more." Congratulations to Nakita Newman who was Player of the Game.
The Thunder will now host a tough and hardworking team in the Keyano Huskies in a home double header. Tip off times are Friday night at 6 and Saturday afternoon at 1 PM.
The Thunder Men's Volleyball team had a tough weekend dealing with a good NAIT team and an odd schedule coming off a long Christmas break. The first match at NAIT fell on a Thursday which threw the schedule off, but the guys came out firing winning the first set. Unfortunately, the guys lost their 'mojo' in the next three sets and ended up losing in 4 sets (23-25 25-20 25-18 25-19). Keenan Forstey was named the Player of the Game Thursday.
The home match up took place Saturday night at Concordia where the guys definitely played good enough to win. Unfortunately, too many errors in each of the three sets saw the guys go down in three straight but with a minimum deficit of points (25-21, 26-24, 25-23). "Our team took some good steps forward this weekend as we get ready for another oddly scheduled weekend against Grande Prairie where we play at Concordia on Saturday and Sunday," stated Head Coach Lucas Jacobson.
Indeed, in a rare quirk of the schedule, the Thunder will see action on Saturday night and will finish off the home double-header on Sunday afternoon. Both matches will commence 25 minutes after the conclusion of the women's games.
The Ladies Volleyball team opened up their second half of league play on Thursday, January 12th as they played the NAIT Ooks in a home and home series and came away with two disappointing losses. On Thursday at NAIT, the team battled hard during some stages of each set but were unable to sustain any consistent energy and lost with scores of 25-17, 25-22, and 25-16. Shandelle Meyer was the Player of the Game for the Thunder.
In Saturday's return engagement at Concordia, the ladies showed some great determination at the start of each set and played side out ball with the Ooks. Unfortunately they were unable to maintain that fight and lost pretty handily, 25-16, 25-19 and 25-14. Julia Heupel was the Player of the Game for the Thunder.
Coach Turner had this to say about the week's matches: "Overall (it was) a pretty disappointing weekend as we struggled with our first contact in key times of each set and we gave away easy points because of that and NAIT capitalized. We played some fun and entertaining volleyball for one-third of each set but at any level and especially our level, playing with that energy for only one-third of a set will not get you a victory. We need to do a better job in practice with our mental part of the game and focus on doing the skills the right way all the time."
This coming weekend, the Thunder will play host to the Grande Prairie Wolves in a home double-header. Match one will commence at 6 PM on Saturday night and in a schedule rarity, match two will go at 1 PM on Sunday, January 22nd.
On New Year's Day, the Thunder Badminton team left for Honolulu where they competed in the Honolulu Badminton Open. The Thunder did very well in the tournament with their fellow ACAC schools NAIT and King's also making the trip. Takeisha Wang continued her dominance in the Women's Singles division where she won the Gold Medal. Takeisha/Cecilia Wolski won the Gold Medal in the Women's Doubles division and Takeisha/Braxton Wong won the Silver Medal in the Mixed Doubles division losing a very close match to a team from Japan. On the consolation side, Cecilia Wolski got the consolation first place in Women's Singles. Overall it was a great effort by the entire team.
The Thunder also enjoyed Waikiki Beach, hitting the waves at North Shore, seeing the beautiful Hanauma Bay, hiking up Diamondhead, going to a Luau, the zoo, snorkeling, great food and many other activities. The Thunder are in action Jan 22nd in their 2nd ACAC tourney of the year at King's University.
To kick off Thunder Athletics' "Make Some Noise for Mental Health' week, Thunder athletes, coaches and staff will be taking a little stroll around the Highlands neighborhood on Monday, January 16th starting at noon. We will be gathering in the Tegler center and then heading out at 12 o'clock sharp for a a short 20 to 25 minute wellness walk in the beautiful Highlands area to the east of campus. We invite all students, staff and faculty to join us for this celebration of wellness!
This weekend the Thunder kicked off the 2017 portion of their season against the MacEwan Griffins. Against a very difficult team, the Thunder had some moments of strong play but could not maintain the consistency required to beat a strong team like MacEwan. Friday night at home the Thunder had a strong first period but could not convert on multiple scoring chances and the game remained scoreless until half way through the second period. The Thunder were unable to maintain their strong play and eventually dropped a disappointing 6 to 0 decision to the Griffins.
Saturday night at the Downtown Community Arena, the Thunder got off to a slow start and faced a MacEwan onslaught that resulted in being down 3 – 0 after the first period. The Thunder penalty kill passed a big test in the second period killing off 4 minor penalties including a 5 on 3. Phil Dillon finally got the Thunder on the board in the third period but the Griffins took the game with a 6 to 1 win.
This weekend the Thunder have an important match up with the Portage Voyageurs. The two teams come into the weekend tied for the last playoff spot in the ACAC and the Thunder are looking to secure their chances with a pair of strong outings. The home game goes Saturday night (14th) at Clareview Arena with the puck dropping at 8:15 PM.
The Thunder Women's Volleyball team travelled to San Diego over the Christmas break to do some training and sightseeing of the area. Playing against four other Canadian College teams – three of them ranked in the top ten in Canada – the ladies played tough and learned from the experience. Although they lost all four matches, the ladies saw what it takes to be one of the top teams in Canada and hope to build off of the experience for the second half.
Besides the volleyball, the team enjoyed an NFL game, got to spend time on the beach, explored the zoo, did some kayaking in the ocean, went downtown for supper and did some shopping. "Overall (it was) a great experience for the ladies and something they will remember for years to come," stated Coach Turner. The Thunder will return to regular season action this week when they face the NAIT Ooks. The home game goes on Saturday night at 6 PM at the RKAC.
This past weekend the Team Canada Women's Deaf Volleyball squad traveled from across Canada to train in Edmonton and play two matches against the Concordia Thunder Women's Volleyball team. This was a great opportunity for both teams to play before the Christmas break and work on some skill development for all players.
In Friday's match, the Thunder played some great side out volleyball and with some strong backrow play by everyone, won in four sets with scores of 25-21, 25-20, 20-25 and 25-21. In Saturday's match, both teams played some exciting rallies and pushed each other to compete but in the end the Thunder prevailed in four sets with scores of 25-15, 18-25, 25-18 and 25-20.
Head Coach Trever Turner had this to say on the weekend's event: "Overall we played well considering the ladies had finals during this time and we have not trained over the past couple of weeks. It was a great opportunity to get some of the ladies in a match situation that have not played that much in the first half and they all did a great job on the court. The important outcome of this weekend was to promote the game of volleyball and get to meet athletes from across Canada and make them feel welcome at our school and city."
Well done Thunder!!
From December 5th to January 8th, the Fitness Room will be observing modified hours. Please click on the link below to see the schedule for access during the holidays.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Thunder Athletics!
This past weekend, the Concordia Curling teams headed down to Red Deer for a full (bon) spiel of competition at the ACAC Fall Regional. Concordia’s team consists of 4 returning players and 4 new players. The returning players are: Adrienne Maschmeyer, Jessica Panchyshyn, Brooke Gelasco and Melissa Palsitt. The newest additions to the Thunder 'clan' are: Veronica Maschmeyer, Madysan Theroux, Evan Van Amsterdam and Tyler Van Amsterdam. With their combination of skill and experience, these athletes were able to triumph together in their first event of the season.
The Concordia Mixed Curling team (consisting of Evan Van Amsterdam, Brooke Gelasco, Tyler Van Amsterdam and Melissa Palsitt) came out with a bang on Friday as they dominated their first two games against MacEwan University and Portage College. After their first day at the event the Mixed team was feeling good. With the prospect of a very long day ahead of them, the Thunder came to the rink on Saturday morning with a solid resolve to continue their winning ways. Sadly, the Thunder couldn’t strike in the early morning against Olds College and later in the afternoon against Lakeland College. After a good meal and some time to recuperate, the Saturday evening draw saw the Mixed squad defeat Red Deer College to end the day with a 3-2 record. They woke up ready to go Sunday morning and continued their winning record against UofA Augustana and NAIT, finishing the weekend with a 5-2 record. Coach Dylan Theroux had this to say: ”The athletes we have here are very skilled. They worked hard this weekend, playing 7 games in 2 and a half days. They worked hard in practice and it sure showed with a 5-2 record to place 3rd overall so far.” Coach Theroux went on to comment on how excited he is to see them continue to compete at the ACAC Winter Regional on January 27th to the 29th.
The Concordia Thunder Women’s Curling team consists of Veronica Maschmeyer, Adrienne Maschmeyer, Jessica Panchyshyn and Madysan Theroux. The Women’s schedule was a little more relaxed (than that of the Mixed team) with a 5-game weekend, but they came prepared to play all the same. The Women’s Team started their weekend competition 3-0 defeating Lakeland College, MacEwan University and Red Deer College over Friday and Saturday. The Women’s team struck fear in their opponents, being the only undefeated team going into the Sunday schedule. Unfortunately, the Thunder Women stumbled against NAIT in the Sunday morning draw. After experiencing their first loss of the weekend, the Thunder shook off their loss and were able to beat UofA Augustana to finish off their weekend. With that final draw victory, the Thunder Women’s team finished up in 1st place in the standings. Coach Theroux had this to say about the performance of his Women’s squad: ”This team has a lot of experience and skill on it. Both teams are very young but they don’t show it when they are performing on the ice. The girls play a smart and controlled game and with that they have won 4 of their 5 games this weekend. They have proved that they are a danger to play against and a lot of the other schools can see it.” He also went on to comment about the cameraderie within both teams. "They have lots of laughs and lots of fun while competing. The key to our success is the chemistry that the teams have. Their communication with one another is at a competitive level. On and off the ice they get along and can discuss how they are going to win each and every event. They have created friendships that I believe will help in winning ourselves provincial and national titles."
The Thunder Curling teams will continue to practice and compete for their respective club teams over the Christmas period and will both be ready to represent Concordia again at the ACAC Winter Regional which will be hosted by NAIT at the Avonair Club from January 27th to the 29th.
On November 21st, Concordia Thunder Badminton stand out Takeisha Wang was feted by the City of Edmonton for her outstanding achievements in national and international play. The city's Salute to Excellence Council presented Takeisha with a Performance Award at the Citation and Performance Awards ceremony held at Edmonton's City Hall. Performance awards are presented to citizens who have won a Canadian Championship or have placed in the top three at an international event.
In Takeisha's case, she was lauded for both her Gold Medal in Mixed Doubles at the 2015 u19 Pan American Games in Tijuana as well as her Gold Medal in Mixed Doubles at the 2015 u23 Junior Nationals in Moncton.
This weekend the Thunder closed the first half of the season with a pair of games against the SAIT Trojans. Friday night in Calgary, the Thunder fell behind early but struck twice late in the first period with goals by Phil Dillon and Rory Davidson to tie the game at 2. In the second the Thunder fell behind again but were pulled close by Rory Davidson's second of the game and only trailed 4 to 3 headed into the third. Unfortunately the Thunder fell into penalty trouble in the final frame and fell by a final score of 7 to 3.
Saturday night the Thunder looked to bounce back at home. A pair of shorthanded goals by the Trojans had them ahead by 2 once again. The Thunder eventually got goals from Dallas McIntosh and David Randall to pull within 1 but could not find a way to tie the game and eventually fell 3 to 2 to the Trojans.
The Thunder look forward to some time off and will return to the ice healthy and rested when they host the MacEwan Griffins on January 6 to begin their push to the playoffs.
In their final weekend of first semester play, the Men's Volleyball team matched up against the first place, undefeated Keyano College Huskies. The first match of the home double header on Friday night was a hard fought battle with the Thunder losing two of the three sets in extra points (27-25, 39-37 and 25-22) but it was an excellent match. The guys showed huge progress in pushing the premier team in the league to the brink in all three sets. Keenan Forstey was named Player of the Game on Friday.
"Unfortunately we didn't comeback with the same effort on Saturday," lamented Head Coach Lucas Jacobson. "We struggled as a group in all aspects of the game Saturday. Although the guys worked hard we just didn't have it Saturday and dropped another 3-0 decision. We go into Xmas on a bit of a losing streak but we are all motivated to work hard through our break and make a big playoff run in the second semester."
The Women's Volleyball team closed out their first half of play this past weekend hosting a 2 game series against the Keyano Huskies from Fort McMurray. In Friday's match, the ladies started strong but could not maintain the intensity over the course of the match and lost in straight sets with Kayla Whiteman Kyte selected as the Player of the Match. In Saturday afternoon's matinee match up, the Thunder again lacked the intensity and struggled in all aspects of the game, going down to the Huskies in in three sets. Kimi Champigny was the Thunder Player of the Match.
Coach Turner's comments from the weekend: "There were times this weekend that we played some solid volleyball in all aspects of the game but we are not consistent with it and that has been our downfall all semester. We need to find the desire and fight within ourselves and I am not seeing that from every player on this team and that is the disappointing part of the semester. We have talent but we lack the drive from within and we want to make sure that is there in the second half of play in order to succeed at this level."
The ladies will now have some down time to prepare for final exams and then as they did last year, will once again play host to the Canadian National Women's Deaf Volleyball team on December 16th and 17th.
An odd set of circumstances facing the Lakeland Rustlers this past weekend led them to forfeit the Friday night showdown with the Thunder, awarding Concordia the win without having to make the trip to Lloydminster. The Rustlers would then have to make the drive into Edmonton for Saturday night’s first semester finale with the Thunder. A motivated home side would come out and jump to a 25-8 lead and never look back, taking down the visiting Lakeland squad by a final of 91-68. Leaders for the Thunder – Brett Jakubec with 23 points and 5 rebounds; Ron Bacon with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocked shots and Mike Malin stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Ryan McLaren rounded out the double digit scorers with 12 points while adding 8 rebounds and 3 steals.
“We were disappointed to not have the chance to compete on Friday,” said Coach Reagan Wood after the weekend. “Our guys love to play and wanted to go to Lakeland and compete in a tough environment, despite the disadvantage the Rustlers were facing. We wanted to treat Saturday like a playoff game and the guys were able to do that starting with the effort at the defensive end. I know the guys are looking forward to a couple days off. It’s been a long stretch competing every week for over two months. We’re happy with the first half we’ve had but there is a long way to go so we have to stay ready for the challenges we will face in the second half of the season.”
The Thunder Women's Basketball team headed into the final weekend of play for the first semester on a 6 game winning streak. They knew they would be challenged by a very good team in the Lakeland Rustlers. “Lakeland does a lot of good things; they have an excellent player in Romanalyn Inocencio and can shoot the ball very well,” opened Coach Valpreda. The series got underway Friday night in Lloydminster with the Thunder getting some good looks but they could not capitalize and get any momentum going. Lakeland took advantage of these Thunder mistakes and jumped out to a 10pt lead early in the second quarter. "We had no energy to start, no emotion. Every time they attacked it seemed like we took two steps back instead of holding our ground.” Late in the quarter, the Thunder did go on a small run to cut the halftime lead to 38-32. In the second stanza, the Thunder looked sharper but every time they started to close the gap, the Rustlers would make some big 3pt shots. “We gave them too many second chance opportunities on missed rebounds and Lakeland capitalized on that.” The Thunder continued to grind it out, attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line or getting open lay-ups. In the last 3 minutes of the game, the Thunder outscored Lakeland 14-5. With 45 secs left, Nakita Newman made a valiant effort to get fouled at the 3pt line and made all three of her foul shots tying the game at 66-66. In the dying seconds, the Rustlers got to the free throw line with Inocencio make 1 out of 2 giving home town ladies a 67-66 lead. With 6 seconds left, the Thunder made an attempt at the rim but fell short, losing for the first time in seven outings by one agonizing point. “We played catch up the whole game, even though we outscored them both in the 3rd and 4th quarter," stated Valpreda. "We didn’t really hit our stride until the 4th quarter. That can hurt you when you are on the road and tonight it did.” Player of the Game was Nakita Newman with 16pts, 12rebs and 2assts.
Saturday night the Thunder were back to defend their home court and finish the semester off with a positive outcome. “We needed contributions from everyone on this team. Every player on this team does something good and its not always going to show on the stats sheet but it will give us momentum when needed.” The Thunder came out looking ready to play and were led in the early going by veteran Ann Stewart who started the game making the first 3 baskets. In the second quarter the Thunder locked in and played excellent defense, allowing the Rustlers just 8pts in the quarter and went into halftime with a 35-25 advantage. When the second half opened, Concordia looked like they had lost their hunger and had to take some early timeouts to refocus and stay on track. Lakeland made a strong push to come within 6pts, but the Thunder challenged the threat and again made a strong counterpunch, again led by Ann Stewart. “Ann rose to the challenge tonight. I’m proud of her; we challenged her to be better and she was. The other players feed off her energy. She was poised and slowed herself down, making good decisions," averred Coach Valpreda. Every time the Rustlers looked to make a move the Thunder would counter with one of their own and took the game 60-53. The Thunder showed great character and resilience in the win after such a devastating loss the night before. They stuck together and bounced back. The thunder also took advantage of points in the paint, outscoring the Rustlers 38-14, “That was huge for us tonight. We didn’t take bad shots on the perimeter like we did the night before. We got to the rim and scored.” The POG was Ann Stewart who had 23pts, 10 rebs and 2 blocks.
The Thunder have some time off now, getting the bye in the last week of league competition. "We get some time to recover and focus on academics. We had an excellent first semester but the real work still has to be done as the second semester is the toughest,” closed out Coach Valpreda.
This weekend the Thunder Hockey team played a pair of key games against the Red Deer College Kings. On Friday night the Thunder travelled down the QE 2 to face the Kings in Penhold. The second period proved to be problematic for the Thunder as they gave up a pair of goals on back-to-back shifts to trail 4 to 1 heading into the third. Despite a strong effort, the Thunder could not cut into the lead and eventually dropped the game 5 to 2. Rookies Chance Thomas and Ian McLellan provided the goals for the Thunder.
On Saturday the Thunder returned home to face the Kings at Clareview Arena. Nothing was done to solve the stalemate in the first two periods and going into the third period the teams were deadlocked in a scoreless tie. Midway through the third, the Thunder broke the tie from an unlikely source; 3rd year Defenseman Nick Tupper scored his first career goal on a bullet from the point. A few minutes later, Ian McLellan added an insurance goal and the Thunder were able to hold on for a 2 to 0 win. Tanner McCorriston was excellent in the win and recorded the first shutout for the Thunder in over 4 years. "Our team played well tonight and we consistently went to the hard areas to retrieve pucks and create scoring opportunities," stated Associate Coach Matt Parks. "When you get goaltending like Tanner has been giving us all season, it was nice to be able to finish off the shutout for him."
Going into the final weekend of the semester against SAIT, the Thunder are tied for the final playoff spot in the ACAC standings. "Despite some bumps in the road, this young team is maturing and learning how to maintain the consistency required to have success in the highly competitive ACAC hockey league," opined Head Coach Dan Glegloff.
The Thunder's final home game of the semester goes Saturday night at 8:15 PM at the Clareview Arena.
On Sunday, the Thunder Badminton team participated in the first ACAC tournament of the year and turned in a solid start to the competitive season. As a team, the Thunder took home second place, accumulating 59 points, just two back from first-place (and tournament host) NAIT. The entire team performed very well and the Thunder Women were especially dominant. In Women’s Singles, Rachael Smillie took home first place. Kassidy Turcotte took home third place with Cecilia Wolski in fourth. On the Men’s Singles side, Calvin Siu finished in fourth place. The Thunder Women continued their exceptional day during the doubles competition, with a clean sweep of the podium. Kassidy Turcotte and Takeisha Wang finished first, Amanda Cao and Rachael Smillie took second and Kaylee Morris and Teisha Ouellette placed third. In the Men’s Doubles division, Connor Reinson and Braxton Wong finished third. In the final event of the day – Mixed Doubles – Concordia's Braxton Wong and Takeisha Wang took home second and Luc-Ly Nguyen and Amanda Cao finished in fourth.
"Overall it was an exciting day of Badminton and a great start to the season for the team," enthused Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine. The Thunder's next action will be on January 22nd when the King's Eagles will host the ACAC for Tournament #2.
The Thunder Men's Volleyball team had a tough weekend of competition, losing two matches in straight sets. "The quality of play was close to where we would like it to be but unfortunately the guys just didn't have their best this weekend," stated Head Coach Lucas Jacobson. "We faced a very talented King's team and played them tough but they ended up being too much for our guys." Players of the Game were Corey Isings on Friday and Ryan Teliske on Saturday. Both guys had excellent matches on their respective nights.
The Thunder will finish off the first semester schedule when they host a home double-header against the first place (and currently undefeated) Keyano College Huskies. Game times are approximately 8 PM on Friday with the matinee going at about 3 PM on Saturday.
This past weekend, Women's Volleyball faced 2015-16 ACAC Silver Medalist King's University Eagles. In Friday's match, the team struggled with their first contact in all aspects of the game and the Eagles capitalized on this and won in straight sets.
In Saturday's match, the ladies came out very flat in the first set and lost but after the changeover played some good side-out volleyball in the second set only to lose their focus in the middle of the set. The Eagles jumped all over them and pulled away for the win. In the third set the same thing happened and the Eagles won again, taking the match in straight sets.
Coach Turner's comments from weekend – "We went up against a good team who will take advantage of unforced errors and score points in bunches and that is what happened. I'm not sure they're as good as the ladies think they are and we need to believe that we can beat any team in this league. We need to become a tougher team to compete against and I take full responsibility for that not happening. We will work on that this week and be ready for the Keyano Huskies to close out the first half."
The home double-header will kick off Friday night at 6 PM at the RKAC with the Saturday afternoon tilt going at 1 PM.
The Thunder Women's Cross Country Running team made the long trek to Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Ontario to take part in the CCAA Cross Country Running National Championships on the weekend. Second year runners Elise Nawrocki and Baylee Frissell led the way for the team finishing in 32nd and 44th place, respectively, each running new personal best times for the 5k distance in the process. Third runner and team Co-captain Rachael Smillie was next across the line for the ladies in 56th place while another 3rd year runner Ana Zulic finished in 61st place to round out the scoring for the team. Both Smillie and Zulic ran their fastest times of the season along with 2nd year runner Bailey Troccoli-Hughes, who finished in 67th place. Rookie Haley Dunwoodie finished in 69th place, also running a new personal best time for the 5k distance.
“To have all of the ladies run their fastest time of the season and half of them ran new personal bests, we couldn’t ask much more of them,” said Assistant Coach Kristen Hansen. The Thunder Women finished in 11th place overall out of the 17 CCAA schools that sent teams to the National Championships. “I’m super proud of these ladies. They worked really hard all season and with most of the team coming back next year, we’re just going to get better. Our goal for next year will be to make it back to the CCAA Championships in Montreal and aim to get ourselves back into the Top 5,” vowed Head Coach Matt Norminton.
The ladies will now take a break before getting ready for the Indoor Track season.
Looking to continue their winning streak, the Thunder Women’s Basketball team took on the King's Eagles this past weekend. King's is a different type of team than recent opponents that the Thunder have faced, with a lot of talent and continuous energy from their entire roster. “We couldn't afford to underestimate this new look King's team. They are coached well and work hard from start to finish,” opined Coach Valpreda. The Thunder took advantage of their home court on Friday night and set the tone with an early 7-0 lead. But things started to get a little ugly for the Thunder squad as the first quarter progressed, as they started to miss a lot of easy baskets and were just 1 for 7 from the free throw line. As the game wore on, the Thunder started to find spurts of momentum and went into the half up 36- 24. At halftime, Coach Valpreda addressed his troops and emphasized the fact that the Thunder squad was not playing with any effort, energy or hustle. “King's were doing a great job of setting the pace; we needed to play with a little more hustle.” As the second half began, the Thunder did increase their energy and hustle, creating plays and baskets at the rim instead of settling for jump shots. The Thunder also got a 'jolt of lighting' from American import Lacey Weddle. Lacey created some plays and made some shots that carried over the energy to the rest of the team. “Lacey played well tonight. It helped to give us some energy when we needed it most”. The Thunder proved they could don the work boots on defense and limit the Eagles to second chance opportunities. In the end, the Thunder took the game with a 75-56 win. Player of the Game was Lacey Weddle with 13pts and 5 rebs.
Saturday night the Thunder took the court at the 'Eagles Nest'. “This team is still learning how to play with each other. Our concepts now have to be about being sharp and executing what we know,” stated Coach Valpreda. The Thunder came out with excellent energy and jumped out to an early lead once again. But into the second quarter, it was the King's Eagles that battled back and closed the halftime lead to 30-24. “It’s the little things we need to be better at," averred Valpreda. It's not complicated but we tend to make it complicated. At times we over think things and all we need to do is keep it simple, finish plays on the offensive end and finish plays (rebound) on the defensive end." King’s came out soaring in the second half and took the lead. The Thunder tried to shoot their way back in the game but the ball would not drop, as they went 3-13 from the 3pt line. But Concordia hung in there and led by Ann Stewart's offensive skills and Sofia Luccadello's defensive rebounding, the Thunder squeaked out with a 58-44 win. “We were challenged tonight and we stuck with it and showed character. We didn’t panic and grinded it out." The POG for the Thunder was Nakita Newman with 13 pts and 7 rebs.
The Thunder will now finish off the first semester with a pair of games versus the Lakeland Rustlers. “If we aren’t focused and don’t come out to compete, we're not going to have a positive outcome. We're going up against a very well coached and very good team in Lakeland,” concluded Valpreda. The home tilt will go Saturday night at 6 PM at the RKAC.
It was a tough but rewarding weekend for the Thunder Men’s Basketball squad as they held off a ferocious King’s Eagles team on back-to-back nights, moving their record to 8-2 in conference play; good enough for top spot in the ACAC North.
An ugly game on Friday night at the RKAC would see the Thunder lead 11-8 after the first and 33-26 at the half. The Thunder would find a way to go up 24 in the fourth frame and hold off the Eagles for the 74-63 win. “(it was) our ugliest game of the year for sure,” said Coach Reagan Wood after the game. “We found a way to win but we have to be a lot better in many areas. King's did a great job with their pressure and forced mistakes on our end. Good to win on a night like this though.” Leaders for the Thunder – Ryan McLaren with a solid night registering 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals. Mike Malin had a nice outside touch knocking down 3 threes on his way to 13 points. Brett Jakubec and Kwame Kang pitched in from the guard spots with 12 apiece. Ron Bacon notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Night two at King’s, the Eagles would take a 42-37 lead into the half but an unbelievable 3rd stanza from the Thunder – wherein they shot 100% from the floor (12/12, 4/4 from 3) and 8/9 at the charity stripe – would vault the Thunder up 12 heading into the 4th. Concordia had to fend off a late push from the home side but left the floor with a 90-80 win. “We finally solved their pressure in the second half and were able to get a lot of quality shots that we converted,” noted Coach Wood. “We have emphasized ball security and shot selection all season. You never expect to shoot that well for an entire half (80% in the second) but it is the fruit of some hard work, combined with talent. We need to continue to work hard all week heading into a huge weekend with a very talented and skilled Lakeland team.” Leaders for the Thunder – a massive night from Ron Bacon – 33 points and 11 rebounds. Ryan McLaren also tallied a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while adding 5 assists. Mike Malin kept his hand hot from 3 hitting another 4, tallying 14 points. Bevan Purnell had his best game of the season with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
As mentioned, the Lakeland Rustlers are next up for the Thunder. In fact their next 4 league games are against the Rustlers, matchups that will be key in the ACAC North playoff picture.
The Concordia Men's Volleyball team had a tough weekend, dropping both matches to a young, talented Augustana team. Friday night the guys came out well, winning the first and third sets. Unfortunately for the Thunder, unforced errors caught up to them and they ended up dropping a hard fought 5 set match in extra points, 16-14. "Captain Connor Reeves' leadership was missed on the court as we were without our fifth year Right Side," stated Head Coach Lucas Jacobson. "The effort was admirable Friday but unfortunately we shot ourselves in the foot one too many times. We came in Friday looking for (the) bounce-back match we really needed to stay in good position in the playoff picture but unfortunately, we were out of gas and continued to make too many errors."
The Thunder dropped a quick decision on Saturday, going down in straight sets to the Vikings. Players of the Game were Ryan Teliske on Friday and Mickey Khan on Saturday.
The Thunder will now look to the challenge of taking on the King's Eagles, who are currently sitting in 2nd place in the ACAC North. The home match goes Friday night at the RKAC.
In a home and home series this past weekend, the Women's Volleyball team came out on the short end of the stick both nights, losing in four sets on both occasions. In Friday's match, the ladies played some great volleyball in the first set and won handily but could not sustain that intensity of play and lost the next three sets and subsequently, the match. Kayla Whiteman Kyte was the Player of the Game for the Thunder.
In Saturday's match the ladies gave it their best but could not capitalize on the chances that were given to them and went down to defeat in four sets. Madi Masterson was the Player of the Game for the Thunder.
Next up for the Thunder will be a challenging weekend when they face the first place King's Eagles. The home match goes Friday night at 6 PM.
Returning back home to the “Thunder Dome”, the Women’s Basketball team were looking to continue their excellent early season play. In town for a pair of weekend games were the GPRC Wolves. Right from the opening tip-off, the Thunder were all over the Wolves' defense, taking a 17-7 lead after the first quarter. “One of the things we need to continue to work on is our defensive pressure and rebounding on the defensive end,” stated Coach Valpreda. Not only did the Thunder look to rebound the ball on the defensive end, but wanted to attack the glass on offense and they did just that, going to the Wolves with 25 offensive rebounds. The Thunder looked to be firing on all cylinders as a majority of the Thunder players were able to contribute in the points column and took the game, 70-34. “Overall we were ok. I believe we could have been a bit sharper in some of the things we did. We turned the ball over 24 times and we didn’t capitalize at the free throw line.” Congratulations to Morgan Dool who was the POG with 17pts, 6 stls, 5 rebs and 3 assts.
Going into Game 2 on Saturday afternoon, the Thunder looked focused and ready to go, getting out to an early 10-0 run to start the game. “As the season progresses, we need to look to play for a full 40 minutes. For today's game we wanted to limit our turnovers and capitalize on our field goal attempts.“ The Thunder also looked very good in their defense as they rotated and moved with the ball, smothering the Wolves as soon as they had possession. Going into halftime, the Thunder were again dominant on the defensive end only allowing the Wolves to score 4pts in the 2nd quarter and taking a 47-15 halftime lead. In the second half, again it was the Thunder who set the tone and scored 25 pts in the 3rd quarter. “One of the big improvements for us was we got 32 points from the bench and these contributions will help us down the stretch,” stated Valpreda. The Thunder finished off with a 82-36 win on the afternoon and the POG went to Ann Stewart with 18pts and 9 rebs. The Thunder have four games left in the first semester and must continue to be focused and play smart. “We have been playing well in the last 4 games, but we still have a lot of work to do and have some very good upcoming opponents.”
The first of those will be the King's Eagles, who will be visiting the RKAC on Remembrance Day evening, with the tip off going at 6 PM.
Welcoming the visiting Wolves for a two game set this past weekend at the RKAC, the Thunder were in need of a solid effort to secure two wins. Game one started very well for the home side going up 25-8 after the first but strong 2nd and 3rd quarters from GPRC had the Thunder down 6 heading into the final stanza. Applying pressure, the Thunder were able to tie the game in 3 possessions and retake the lead shortly thereafter, finishing off the Wolves by a final of 90-77. Leaders for the Thunder – Ron Bacon with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks, Brett Jakubec with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists, Ryan McLaren added 15 points with 8 rebounds. Mike Malin and Kwame Kang registered 10 points each to help the Thunder to the win.
Game two would also start well for the Thunder going up 28-15 out of the gate and would never look back closing out the sweep of the Wolves with an 84-69 win. Leaders for the Thunder – Ryan McLaren with 19 points and 7 rebounds, Mike Malin with 17 points and 5 rebounds, Brett Jakubec with a full stat sheet tallying 16 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. Ron Bacon also made an impact in every category with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks. Bevan Purnell had his best game of the young season adding 8 points and 3 assists.
“Another good weekend with steps in the right direction,” stated Coach Reagan Wood. “Not that you want to give up leads at any point but being able to remain calm and find opportunities to battle back and execute under pressure will serve us well as we fight for a playoff spot. It was much like the previous weekend where we had an excellent opportunity to learn from Friday to Saturday.”
Next up for the Thunder, the King’s University Eagles in a home and home series with the game at the RCAC going Remembrance Day evening at 8 PM.
The Thunder Men's Volleyball squad was up in Grande Prairie for two matches against a young but talented Grand Prairie Wolves team this past weekend. The guys came out slowly on Friday, losing the first set and making too many errors. However, they bounced back in the next three sets to win the match 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 25-15 and 25-23). Connor Reeves played a crucial role in the victory but unfortunately suffered a dislocation of a finger on his left hand. Ryan Teliske came off the bench for sets 2-4 and played excellently, which got him the Player of the Game award for Friday night. Saturday was a different story as the guys looked sluggish for the whole match, losing in 3 sets. Keenan Forstey was the Player of the Game on Saturday. "Overall an ok weekend for the guys, but we did miss an opportunity to get the program's first weekend sweep in quite some time", lamented Coach Jacobson.
MVB is back next weekend against another young team in the Augustana Vikings. The home tilt will go Saturday night at the RKAC.
This past weekend the Thunder Hockey team took on the top rated NAIT Ooks in a pair of games. Friday night at NAIT Arena, the Thunder battled hard and played well for the majority of the evening. Unfortunately for the Thunder, the Ooks were able to gain the advantage on a few turnovers and capitalized enough to earn a 4 to 1 win. Colin Minardi scored for the Thunder in the loss and Tanner McCorriston was excellent again between the pipes.
Saturday night at home the Thunder once again fell victim to a few early turnovers and were quickly down 2-0 early in the first period. A goal by Rory Davidson got the Thunder back into the game but a strong second period by the Ooks had them up 6 to 1 after 2. The Thunder got a goal from Brady Bakke in the third but eventually fell by a final of 8 to 2.
"The Thunder head into the bye week with some tough lessons learned against a power house team from NAIT," commented Head Coach Dan Glegloff. "Despite the losses, we remain only 2 points out of a playoff spot and will continue to push to become better every day this week at practice."
The Thunder return to the ice in two weeks when they face the RDC Kings.
The Women's Volleyball team travelled to Grande Prairie over the weekend to face the always tough Grande Prairie Wolves. The Wolves have been a model of consistency over the past 25 years and it showed on the court over the weekend. In both matches the Thunder struggled with the first contact and had no rhythm in any aspects of the game, going down to defeat in straight sets both nights. Ryley Rizzoli was the Thunder Player of the Match both nights.
Coach Turner's comments from the weekend- "Overall it was a very disappointing weekend. I know we are facing a very good team that doesn't make too many mistakes but I felt it was a great opportunity for the ladies to show how we would respond against a team like that. In the end our response was not what I expected and we need to come back this week and start challenging each other to get to the same level that the Wolves are at. I know we have the talent to get to that level but what we do on the court right now will not get us there. The overall picture is to fight and battle for every point and control what we can and that will be the focus moving forward."
The Thunder will face the always competitive Augustana Vikings this weekend with the home match going Saturday night at 6 PM at the Ralph King Athletic Centre.
For the 3rd straight year, the Thunder Cross Country Running program will be sending a team to the CCAA National Championships after the women's 3rd place finish in Grande Prairie on Saturday. Second year runner Elise Nawrocki led the way with a solid 5th place performance earning first team "All Conference" honours. After Nawrocki, the women packed in very well with Baylee Frissell finishing in 12th place, rookie Haley Dunwoodie was 13th, Co-captain Rachael Smillie was 14th, Bailey Troccoli-Hughes was 17th, Ana Zulic was 20th and Co-captain Shelby Edgar finished in 29th spot. "For us to have 5 women in the Top 17 shows how good our girls are right now," stated Head Coach Matt Norminton. "They have worked really hard this season and the improvement has been fantastic." Dunwoodie ran a new personal best and Zulic ran her fastest time of the season on the tough Wapiti Trails course. The Thunder ladies finished with 44 points, losing only to Red Deer and Lethbridge. "If the ladies can pack in like that at Nationals, we'll do really well," said Assistant Coach Kristen Hansen.
The Thunder men finished in 6th place with rookie Keith Spruyt finishing in 16th place in a new personal best time. Hockey player (turning runner) Connor Reinson was 25th, Captain Ian Lee was 33rd, rookie Mo Abdullahi was 37th, Michael Quick was 38th, rookie Darien Khan was 43rd and another rookie, Brad Agnew was 46th. "We knew that this was going to be a rebuild year after we lost all 7 runners from last year's ACAC XC team," said Norminton. "Unfortunately Ian got sick the day before the race and Mike had a tough one. But it was great to see Keith, Darien and Brad all run new personal bests and Connor and Mo both improved their times on the same course from 4 weeks ago."
The men will now rest up before getting ready for the Indoor Track season. The ladies will head out to Sault Ste. Marie in 2 weeks to take part in the 2016 CCAA National Championships. They finished in 4th place last year at the National Championships, missing out on the podium by just 2 points. "Three quarters of our scoring team yesterday were either just getting over being sick or were actually sick," said Norminton. "Both Baylee and Rachael have the potential to finish much higher up at Nationals relative to the other ACAC teams than they did yesterday. If Haley can tag along with those 2, we could really surprise a few teams in 2 weeks."
How do we measure progress? In the early days of September it was about competing with Kings, last year's bogey team. This week it was about competing with Top 10, Nationally-ranked sides, and the audacious belief that Nationals qualification was even a possibility. "This was new territory to be explored and explore we did," beamed Coach Skitch. In Friday's quarter final round, the Thunder outlasted Lakeland College – the ACAC South Division's #2 side – 1-0 on a Boothe header to qualify for a juicy semi-final with Keyano, the nation's deserved #4 side and reigning ACAC Champion. Just two weeks before this, KC had just set an ACAC record for consecutive wins dating back to last season only for that streak to be ended by a little team in Edmonton called Concordia. The stage was set but alas it was not to be as KC took their revenge and prevailed 2-0. Well done, Keyano! But not to be undone, the Thunder refocused on the Bronze and their target opponent, ACAC North rivals, the NAIT Ooks. "Two of our three league defeats were at the hands of NAIT but the belief was there that the gap had been closed so again the stage was set. Indeed the gap had been closed with the Thunder being good value for money in a 1-0 podium performance." Mas Arya sealed the deal with a first half screamer. Villanueva and Drissi were selected to the all-Tournament 11. "Bronze never felt so good; progress indeed." – Thunder Head Coach Ian Skitch.