By James Macfarlane
This year’s House Hockey Final pitted two longtime foes – Mowbray’s and Orr’s – against each other. After tying their regular season meeting, they were looking to settle the series with one final rubber match.
Both teams came out gunning. The game was fast-paced with very few stoppages in play. Playing on the Olympic pad came as an advantage to Orr’s spread-out attack as they used every inch of the ice to generate scoring chances. After eleven minutes of back-and-forth action, Mowbrays’ sharpshooter Brandon Ng (IB2) opened the scoring with a well-placed shot from the right faceoff dot. A long scoring drought followed. Midway through the game, Mowbrays’ Adam Robinson (IB2) was awarded a penalty shot. He was stoned with a beautiful pad save by Orr’s goaltender Jonathan Herlin (FY).
With about 12:00 left in the game, Mowbray’s, still leading 1-0, had another great scoring opportunity. A Mowbray’s player cleared the puck to the other end of the ice on a dump-and-chase opportunity. It appeared that the Orr’s defender was going to get to the puck first as he didn’t have any grey shirts within about ten metres of him. Suddenly, Paul “Achilles” Soumalias (IB1) bolted out of nowhere. In true Spartan fashion, he sacrificed his body, diving to knock the puck into the slot to an open Ben Kapoor (IB1). With only the goalie to beat, it was on Kapoor’s shoulders to finish one of the greatest individual efforts in House Hockey history. He missed wide right.
From the six-minute mark onwards, it was all Mowbray’s. Kapoor redeemed himself by finishing a beautiful tic-tac-toe play, assisted by Soumalias and Robinson. After that goal, they never let up. A helpless Jonathan Herlin passed Brandon Ng on a breakaway, only to be beat by Adam Robinson less than a minute later.
In the final seconds, Orr’s generated a massive onslaught of shots in front of Mowbray’s net, all of which were turned back by goaltender Chris Griffiths (IB2). The puck was cleared and a celebration of epic proportion ensued. With a 3-0 victory, Mowbray’s was crowned House Hockey Champions 2010-11.
Following Mowbrays’ victory was the annual House Hockey All-Stars vs. Teachers game. The young All-Star squad featured the best of the best IB2 House Hockey players. The Teacher side, clad in retro UCC jerseys, had the edge in both size and experience. Notable players included Geographers Ian Toope and Craig Parkinson, SAS Superstars Adam Ross and Jordan Foley, Martin St. Louis’ ex-line-mate Steve McKell and goaltender Anthony the IT Guy.
From the moment the puck dropped, the All-Stars dominated. It took only two minutes for the Teachers to let one in, when Brandon Ng pounced on a lazy rebound by Anthony off of a Jamie Griffith prayer. About a minute later, a towering Mr. Mirkovich broke his stick at centre ice. Frustrated by their poor start to the game, the teachers began to play dirty. Ex-Queens linebacker Mr. Ross dispossessed Jamie Griffith by attempting what looked like a tackle. No penalty shot was called. The puck rolled to Mr. Beaudoin, who was waiting behind his own net. In a curious decision, the defenseman fired a shot directly at Patrick Power’s noggin. A penalty shot was finally called. This should come as no surprise considering Beaudoin’s history of violence. While playing for the Nijmegen Tigers of the Netherlands in 2001-02, he amassed 211 PIMs in just thirty-five games.
Power failed to convert his penalty shot, but that didn’t kill the All-Stars’ momentum. Shortly after, Jamie Griffith went top shelf on a helpless Anthony. The All-Stars went tic-tac-toe on a counterattack opportunity off of Foley’s missed penalty shot. The fans began to file out, but the barrage didn’t stop there. Griffith scored another goal and proceeded to ring a shot off of Anthony’s bucket. Then Nick Duder fired a shot that bounced off Anthony’s glove and trickled across the goal line.
With roughly nine minutes left in the game, the Teacher’s goalie made a flurry of impressive saves. His team then went on a counterattack which resulted in Mr. Mirkovich finishing in the crease. A group of Y1s sitting beside me, including super-fan Chris Tully went absolutely berserk. When I asked Chris why his group was so excited about Mirk’s goal, he cried, “He’s our form master!” For the first time in the game, the teachers had momentum. However, any hopes of a comeback were flattened when Nick Duder scored ten seconds later off the faceoff.
With 2:30 left to play, English scholar Mr. Hill and #8 (whose identity still has yet to be revealed) teamed up to score a beautiful goal in which they avoided Olympian Sash Malowany and knocked over Finals MVP Chris Griffiths in goal. Goaltender interference was not called. With twenty seconds left, Brandon Ng scored the prettiest goal of the day, going bar-down over a sprawled Anthony.
Just in case you lost track, the All-Stars emerged victorious: 7-2. Once again, youth trumped experience. To put it simply, the All-Stars were hungrier. For (hopefully) all of them, this was their last House Hockey game at UCC. They wanted to go out in style and they did – putting on a triumphant show for hundreds of adoring fans. It was a fine way to cap off the season.
(Photo by Connor Cimowsky.)