Varsity Hockey: Saville Cup 2017

On January 21st, the St. George’s Senior Hockey Team headed to Vancouver Island to compete against the Brentwood Senior Hockey Team in the anticipated Saville Cup, an annual hockey showcase hosted at Kerry Park. Even though St. George’s was favoured on paper, Brentwood had the home crowd advantage; massive crowds attend the game every year, and this year an estimated five hundred people came out to watch.

Before the game, there was a ceremonial puck drop in honour of Brentwood coach Mike Flynn, who is in the midst of coaching Brentwood for the last season after more than 20 years with the program. Following this event that saw friendly and loud cheers from the hometown crowd, everyone in the arena stood for the national anthem.

Coach Mr. Fredeman elected to dress 10 forwards and 6 defenceman for the game, and gave Finn Lawlor (10) the start in goal. As expected, the game started with a fast pace, and the first goal was awarded to St. George’s. Matteo Mitchell (11) capitalized on a lucky bounce, as the puck bounced off the glass and over the net right into crease, where he was able to bat the puck into a wide-open net.

St. George’s then proceeded with two more goals, including a rebound tap-in by Will Andrews (12), and Michael Hua (12), self proclaimed as “St. George’s very own Connor McDavid,” scored an absolute rocket one-timer from the slot. The two teams exchanged a few more goals, and Brentwood’s crowd was able to lift the home team to tie the game 4-4 after two periods. The momentum was shifted in Brentwood’s favour going into the third period.

Both teams exchanged many chances in the third period, but it was St. George’s who prevailed once again with less than five minutes left in the game. Alex Stekl (12) beautifully tipped a point shot by Conor Entwistle (12) to give the go-ahead for Saints in the final minutes. St. George’s then took a controversial penalty in the final minutes of the game, giving Brentwood a 6-on-4 advantage with their goalie pulled. St. George’s was able to protect the fort, and Michael Hua (12) scored an insurance empty netter goal in the dying seconds of the game.

After the game, a Most Valuable Player award was presented to one player on each team, and then both teams gathered at centre ice for a photo. The two teams met after the game to share a dinner, and coaches as well as captains gave their final words regarding the game. A standing ovation was once again given to Brentwood coach Mike Flynn within the room.

“It was a surreal experience as it’s not all the time you get to play in front of hundreds of people. I thought we struggled throughout the early parts of the game, but I loved the way the team came together at the end.” – Jamie Ambrose (12)