Varsity Hockey Goes Undefeated

On January 28th and 29th, the St.George’s Varsity hockey team hosted their first ever hockey tournament at UBC. Named the St. George’s Pacific Challenge Cup, the tournament consisted of four senior teams: Prince of Wales, Kitsilano, Brentwood, and St.George’s.

The Saints team started the tournament against long-time rival Prince of Wales and the game was intense throughout the entire 45 minutes. There were many scoring chances going back and forth, providing for exciting odd-man rushes as well as effective point shots. Although having given up more shots and scoring chances, goaltender Jonah Dutz (12) played extremely well and backstopped the Saints Varsity team to a 1-1 tie.

The second game of the tournament was played against familiar foe Brentwood, as the two teams met at Saville Cup just a couple days before. St.George’s came out strong with two straight goals in the first five minutes. At one point, Saints was leading 3-0 and leading comfortably. Brentwood fought back hard with resilience, seeking revenge for their previous home loss at the Saville Cup, and scored a couple goals to make to eventually make it a 5-3 game. Saints played solid fundamental defense in the third period and eventually came out with the win, making them 3-0 overall against Brentwood this season.

Finally, the last round-robin game was against Kitsilano. Even though Kitsilano consisted of strong core players including a few that player Junior and Major Midget hockey, they were no match for the Saints hockey team. The entire game was Saints dominating. Outshooting, outworking, and outplaying Kitsilano, the game ended up being 7-0 for Saints.

St. George’s finished first in the round robin, and matched up against Brentwood in the Semi-Finals for a second time in the tournament, this time with a lot more on the line. This game was much closer than the last time. Saints took a strong 3-1 lead after the first but Brentwood kept pushing back and ended up tying the game 3-3 mid way through the game. However, Saints turned the rest of the game in their favor and ended up with a 5-3 win.
After a big win against Brentwood, Saints matched up against Prince of Wales in the finals of the St George’s Pacific Challenge Cup. After a close game in the first round-robin game resulting in a 1-1 tie, many expected the finals to be a hard-fought and close game. Right from the get-go, Saints came out extremely strong, as its’ offence proved to be overwhelming for the Prince of Wales defense in the first couple shifts. The powerful combination of Justin Schwartz (12) and Michael Tilbury (12) contributed much of the offence in the game. After starting off the game with a comfortable 4-0 lead, all Saints had to do was protect the lead for the rest of the game. Doing exactly just that, goaltender Jonah Dutz (12) was able to grab a shutout in a 5-0 final.

It was an exciting weekend for Saints hockey as the Saints Varsity team claimed the first ever championship in their own tournament. For returning player Jamie Ambrose (11), “It really was a team effort. Everyone played their role. The goaltenders played extremely well, the defenceman proved to be of an elite company within the tournament, and the forwards had no problem putting the puck in the back of the net”.

This tournament couldn’t have turned out better. Even though it is important to celebrate the success of players, those behind the spotlight must be given just as much credit for the team’s success. Head coach Mr. Fredeman put in tons of work and energy to plan this tournament and preparing game rosters. It also wasn’t easy getting all those ice times for all the games. “A lot of the success should be accredited to those doing the best to help the players give their best performance, including the trainers and referees, and Mr. Figueroa for coming at 7 in the morning and staying late in the afternoon to support the players. It’s not easy working for such a long time”. – Head coach Mr. Fredeman.