Ridgebacks help Canada take home hockey silver, bronze from Russia

(From left) Alex Yuill, Kassidy Nauboris and Jack Patterson of the UOIT Ridgebacks are back at school after helping their Canadian teams win medals at the FISU Winter Universiade in Russia. Photo credit: Meagan Secord

They went, they competed, they won silver and bronze.

Three UOIT Ridgebacks hockey players joined Team Canada – men’s and women’s teams – for the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia earlier this month.

Kassidy Nauboris, Alex Yuill and Jack Patterson say the piece of advice they would offer any upcoming hockey player who wants to take part in a competition like this is to work hard and experience everything university has to offer.

“It was amazing, definitely not anything I could’ve imagined,” says Nauboris, a 5-foot-4 forward from Brampton, Ont. who has resumed her studies at UOIT after playing in the gold medal game, won by Russia 2-0. Nauboris finished the tournament with a goal and two assists.

“It was definitely a new atmosphere going in there not knowing anyone but an accomplishment like that you get really close with your team really quick.”

She graduates from UOIT this year with a major in kinesiology and a minor in psychology and says she doesn’t know if she will continue playing hockey. For now, she is enjoying the last few months of school and will take life as it happens.

Yuill, who’s going into his fifth year for criminology and justice in September, says the experience was amazing.

“When I found out I made the team I wasn’t sure what to expect but after meeting the guys the first day and getting to play for Team Canada it was just an honour,” says the 5-foot-8 defenceman from Wellington, Ont.

Yuill says he will continue playing hockey after university if he gets the opportunity.

Patterson, who enters his fourth year of criminology and justice next year, says he never thought he’d be in Russia playing hockey for Team Canada.

The Canadian side took bronze by beating Kazakhstan 3-0.

“Every game was sold out and the fans loved us when we were over there,” says Patterson, a 6-foot-1 left winger from Bedford, N.S. “when you’re playing with good players the game comes easily to you.”

The Ridgebacks were gone from March 2-12 and say they are excited to have had the opportunity but now will focus on their studies.