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.
The objective: win the first two games at the ACAC Women's Soccer Championship this past weekend and ‘voila’, a trip to Montreal for the CCAA Nationals would be the prize. In Concordia’s path were two technology schools: SAIT and NAIT. The opening game Friday vs SAIT fell on a cool, wet Autumn afternoon. The Thunder displayed an incredible display of ball possession right from the opening whistle which led to numerous opportunities early in the match and an early goal too, by sophomore Bryanna Niehaus. By all accounts the Thunder ladies should have scored 2 or 3 within the first twenty minutes but were unable to convert. Nonetheless, their defense held firm and they finished the match with a 1-0 victory.
Saturday afternoon saw the Thunder in the semi-finals against NAIT; the start of another Fall classic for the two programs. The winner would go to the finals and also to Montreal for Nationals. It was an intense, bitter battle filled with scoring opportunities, numerous fouls and what turned out to be the game winning goal early in the first half. Unfortunately for the Thunder ladies, the goal was scored by NAIT and it eliminated Concordia from National contention.
On Sunday, the Thunder played for the Bronze Medal taking on the #1 seed from the South, Medicine Hat. The Championship host Thunder scored two goals (Shyanne Walton and Jaida Stasiuk) in the second half to secure a 2-0 victory and a Bronze Medal finish at the 2016 ACAC Women's Soccer Championship. Congratulations ladies!
The Thunder Women’s Basketball took their first major road trip of the season this past weekend, taking on the Keyano College Huskies in Fort McMurray. After the previous weekend, the lady hoopsters were looking to bounce back into the win column in the ACAC North division. “It's always tough to play after these long bus rides. We needed to get adjusted quickly both mentally and physically,” opened Coach Valpreda. “The Huskies have a very good roster and come in with a 3-1 record. This was their opening weekend at home and we needed to match their intensity." The Thunder would finally settle in and take the halftime lead, 37-32. In the second half, the Thunder came out scoring in bunches, putting up 25 pts in the 3rd quarter. “We got our legs back and we were focused in on what we came here to do.” The Thunder had key contributions from Sofia Luccadello 19pts, Ann Stewart 14pts and Morgan Dool who had 14pts. The Thunder went on to win the game 74-61. The Player of the Game was Nakita Newman with 20pts.
The Saturday game was a matinee affair, tipping off at 1pm. This was an adjustment for the Thunder, needing to do a quick turnaround from the evening before. Concordia came out of the gate with some mental mistakes on both ends of the floor. “Being on the road is difficult, especially as it is new to some of our players. However, we cannot use that as an excuse for poor play and we needed to get our minds right to perform right.” The Thunder took some time to settle in before they started to take the lead on the court. The Huskies were not going to back down on their home court and battled with the Thunder every possession. Going into the half the Thunder were leading 34-28. "We can't be content with a single win. This is a long season we have to be hungry and prove to ourselves how good this team can be," stated Valpreda. The second half opened with the Thunder looking much more poised and patient as they opened up leads as high as 18 points over the Huskies, with everyone on the court contributing to the eventual 78-63 victory. “This was a team win today. Every player – no matter who it was or how long they were on there – helped our team win today.” Player of the Game honours went to Morgan Dool who had 16pts and 4rebs in the contest.
The Thunder will now return for a two game home stand this coming weekend when they will host the Grande Prairie Wolves. Game times are 6 PM Friday and 1 PM on Saturday.
On their first major road trip of the season the Thunder were able to find a way to win two over the Keyano Huskies up in Fort McMurray. In game one the Thunder would take a 16 point lead into the fourth but a furious rally by the home side had the Thunder down one with 12 seconds to play when 4th year Guard Brett Jakubec stole the inbounds pass right under the Huskies basket and laid it in to put the Thunder back in front. The Thunder would secure the final rebound of the game and survive with an 88-87 win. Leaders for the Thunder – Ryan McLaren with a career high 29 points (on 13/14 from the floor) and 9 rebounds, Brett Jakubec stuffed the stat sheet with 26 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 7 steals and 2 blocks. Ron Bacon was also outstanding with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks.
In game two the Thunder would have a chance to redeem their 4th quarter performance from the previous night as they led by 15 heading into the final frame and would not let the Huskies any closer than 10 finishing off the sweep with an 86-75 victory. Leaders for the Thunder – Ron Bacon with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks, Mike Malin with a bounce back night scoring 18 points and adding 4 rebounds, Brett Jakubec with 16 points and 5 assists with Ryan McLaren registering 12 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
“Execution of our game plan was key this weekend,” noted Coach Reagan Wood after the wins. “When we executed at both ends of the floor we had a lot of success. When we went away from it, Keyano was able to take advantage. They have several dangerous players that – if you miss assignments on – will make you pay. We saw that on Friday night when they made their comeback so it was great to get the opportunity the next day to be able redeem our previous 4th quarter performance.”
Next up for the Thunder – a 2 game at home stand against the GPRC Wolves. The games go Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 3pm.
This weekend the Thunder returned from their bye week to take on the Briercrest Clippers. On Friday the Thunder struck early with Chance Thomas scoring his first ACAC goal. However a strong second period by the Clippers put them ahead heading into the third period. Despite a goal by Rory Davidson and multiple scoring opportunities for the Thunder, the Briercrest goalie stood tall and the Thunder fell 4-2 after a Clippers empty net goal.
Saturday afternoon the Clippers took the early lead only to see the Thunder storm back to take the lead on goals by Romano Morrison, Colin Minardi and Phil Dillon. A late point shot tied the game for the Clippers with just 9 seconds left in regulation and the Thunder men were off to overtime for the first time this season. The Thunder struck quickly in OT on a goal by David Randall and the final was 4 to 3 for Concordia. Tanner McCorriston got the victory in goal and played an outstanding game, making 29 saves.
Next up for the Thunder is a home and home against the NAIT Ooks. The puck drops Friday at 7 PM at NAIT and Saturday at 8:15 at Clareview.
Concordia University of Edmonton is hosting the 2016 ACAC Women's Soccer Championship from October 28th to 30th. Please click on the link below to access the official Championship Program.
The Concordia Women’s Soccer team finished its regular season with a 3-1 victory over Keyano on Saturday and a 3-2 victory over Augustana on Sunday. With Halloween one week away, Concordia served its best impersonation with its style of play of the novel characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In Saturday’s match, Concordia played uninspired football against Keyano in the first 45 minutes but played a great second half to win the game. In the Sunday match versus Augustana, Concordia looked defeated and fell 2-0 at half but came back and played like composed intelligent veterans and scored three unanswered goals in the second to win 3-2. It’s a concerning trait they have shown several times this season, showing two sides to their play. “Unfortunately, teams go through moments where their connectivity is off," stated Coach Imbrogno. “As a group we need to solve it on the field sooner; we can’t wait a half to turn our game around. We won’t have that luxury next week at the championships.” Goal scorers for Saturday’s match were Jaida Stasiuk, Shyanne Walton and ‘Player of the Game’ Brynn deVries. Tallying on Sunday’s match were Gabby Bayne, Eleni Stamatakis and Karey Lubkey. Bryanna Neihaus won ‘Player of the Game’ honours.
Thunder Women's Soccer will be vying for a second straight national berth this weekend at the ACAC Soccer Championship. Their opening game is Friday, October 28th at 2:00 PM. All games will be held at the Clareview Leisure Centre turf field.
After finishing in the Top 5 at the recent ACAC Golf Championships, the Thunder Golf team's Kassidy Turcotte found herself qualifying as an individual for the 2016 PING Golf National Championships hosted by Holland College in Charlottetown, PEI on October 17-21. The Championships were held at the Fox Meadows Golf Course and was a unique blend of a links-style course surrounded by mature maple and birch trees lining the outer perimeter of the course. While the weather held for most of the Championships, wind gusts upwards of 50 km/hr and intermittent pouring rain made for an interesting few days of competition.
After playing two practice rounds at Fox Meadows, Turcotte felt good about her chances and set a goal of finishing in the Top 15 female golfers out of 30 that qualified as the top collegiate golfers in Canada. Day 1 was by far the best of the weather, with mostly blue skies, temperature of +16 degrees throughout the round and the course playing under great conditions for Fall golf in Canada. Turcotte turned in a first round score of 82, sitting her comfortably in the top 15 in the competition.
Day 2 saw the changing of the weather, with winds starting to pick up and sunny skies disappearing with the temperature falling to single digits. The wind played havoc across the field, and despite battling a migraine in the morning, Turcotte shot an 86 on the day and held her position in the field.
Day 3 brought out the most challenging weather conditions of the week with the temperature hovering just above zero, winds howling and the rain pouring on and off throughout the day. Despite the chilly and often unbearable conditions, Turcotte managed to continue to strike the ball well off the tee but the weather made putting extremely difficult. In the final round, Turcotte shot an 87 and finished tied for 14th overall!
Well done Kassidy!
The Thunder Men ended Keyano's record setting winning streak 1-0 at Concordia Saturday. The 4th ranked CCAA side have enjoyed having all things their way since last season – until now. Oladeji Ademola made the goal on his own but the team – led by Man of the Match Israel Olufuwa – were the heroes coming through with a grinding defensive effort the champions could not overcome.
There would have been no point in this achievement by not turning up for business on Sunday at home to Augustana. The visitors clearly came to defend which suited the Thunder as they rolled to a comfortable 3-0 win to end league play with 7 wins and 3 losses. Ademola was on target again with a brace with Ahmed Abubaker sealing the deal. Ademola is the in-form player and earned Man of the Match honours.
The boys are flying a bit and are now off to the ACAC Championships to be hosted by Medicine Hat College. It will be the first post-season appearance for the Men's Soccer team in four years. Go Thunder!
Going into Week 2, the Thunder Women’s Basketball team were looking to build on their 2-0 start to the season. However, this would be a daunting task against the defending ACAC Champion NAIT Ooks. NAIT has a very seasoned, experienced team and chronologically, the oldest team in the North Division. Right from the tip off, the Ooks looked to set the tone as they jumped out to an early 15-4 lead. “We have to be a bit more patient vs. the press attack. This is a team that we are facing that scores off our turnovers. We can defend them in the half court, but points-off-turnovers is how they dominate the league," opined Coach Valpreda. Veteran Forward Jordan Lembryk drew a tough task, defending NAIT's Torey Hill. “Jordan was phenomenal. She defended Torey very well, holding her to 7pts.” At the half, the Thunder found themselves down 33-17, with NAIT taking 11 of their points off of turnovers. In the final quarter, the Thunder finally found their rhythm, outscoring the Ooks 24-17 and cutting the deficit to 12 pts. Shooting Guard Morgan Dool led the Thunder with 19pts but in end, the Ooks won 57-44. “We played well in the end; a little too late but we created some momentum for us going into tomorrow night's game. We know we can compete and beat this team. We just have to play for a full four quarters to give us a chance,“ stated Coach Valpreda. The Player of the Game was Morgan Dool.
Saturday evening, the Thunder headed over to NAIT to take on the Ooks in their gym. Coming off a disappointing start to Friday’s game, the Thunder wanted to be better right from the tip-off. “It didn't require a major change in strategy. We just had to make some small adjustments and play with a bit more patience and poise,” said Coach Valpreda. Right from the tip off the Thunder jumped all over the Ooks, playing with more confidence and a lot more discipline than they had the previous evening. After one quarter the Thunder were up 17-12. The Thunder continued to dismantle the Ooks' defense and went into halftime with a 38-23 lead. “We know NAIT is a strong team; we know they will not just back down. Their veterans will look to change the momentum and we have to weather the storm: How we play to their game will determine the outcome of this game.” IN the 3rd quarter, the defending ACAC Champions jumped all over the Thunder, squeezing the vise just a bit. But the Thunder continued to defend very well and played with great defensive intensity. However, it seemed as if 'lady luck' was on the Ook's side, as the Thunder just could not find the bottom of the basket in the 3rd quarter. “It was as if the hoop had a lid on it.” The Ooks took full advantage of that, outscoring the Thunder 21-3 in the 3rd. As the 4th quarter began the Thunder were only down 46-41 and still in the ball game. But against a veteran team all the momentum shifted to the Ooks as they pulled away with a 66-48 win. “I’m confident in this team and this is a learned lesson for us. We can compete with them and even beat them. It showed in the first 20 mins; we made some mistakes but the girls continued to play hard. This game does some crazy things at times and for us it was the fact we couldn’t put the ball in the basket in the 3rd.quarter. We learn and keep trucking,” concluded Valpreda. Congratulation to Ann Stewart who was named as the Player of the Game.
Next up, the Thunder make the long trek up north to take on the Keyano Huskies in a pair of away games.
This past weekend, the Thunder Women’s Basketball Team took part in the GO21 Downs Syndrome walk in support of their manager Carly Smith. This is the 2nd year the team has taken part in the walk. "Carly is a big part of our team, the ladies adore her and the support from her family is greatly appreciated. Great Job Carly from your Thunder Family!!
Facing the defending ACAC and CCAA Champions this past weekend the Thunder battled hard but were unable to come out on top against the NAIT Ooks. In game one the Thunder would spot the Ooks a 15 point lead but battle back to cut the deficit to 2 in the second quarter. However the guys were unable to push past that mark and ended up losing the contest by a final score of 71-65. Leaders for the Thunder – Mike Malin with 17 points and 5 rebounds, Brett Jakubec with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, Ryan McLaren with 16 points and 7 rebounds with Ron Bacon adding 11 points and 7 rebounds.
The rematch back at NAIT would again see the Thunder allow the Ooks to go up 10 but were able to regain the advantage in the 2nd and 3rd quarter. However, clutch play from the home side would again hold off the Thunder by a final tally of 81-75. Leaders for the Thunder – Brett Jakubec with 17 points, Ryan McLaren with 14 points and 9 rebounds, Mike Malin with 14 points and 5 rebounds with Ron Bacon and Paul Smith-Profit both chipping in with 9 apiece. “NAIT showed why they have a championship pedigree. We played well for long stretches this weekend but they made several big shots late in shot clocks and quarters. They earned more free throws and made them time after time. We left some points out on the floor that we need to capitalize on in order to beat a great team like NAIT.” said Coach Reagan Wood after the weekend.
Up next for the Thunder, the first road trip of the season up to Ft. McMurray to face the Keyano Huskies for two.