The UTM Eagles remain on top of the standings with another win last Wednesday against the St. George Red hockey team. For the second game in a row, the Eagles made a final-minute comeback to keep their record at an impressive 4-0-1 over the first half of the season. With four wins and only one tie, the Eagles remain at the top over all other U of T campuses.
Defenceman Shawn Flynn scored an important first period goal—he squeezed into the front of the net past St. George defenders, putting the puck past their goaltender.
Third-year criminology and sociolegal studies student Vic Geborski also shined that evening.
With time winding down in the third period, Geborski received a pass through the neutral zone and managed to find the back of the net, making the score 3-3 and giving hope for another Eagles win. With less than a minute to go in the game, Geborski received another pass from linemate German Pozdnyakov up centre ice, where he again put it past the UTSG Red goaltender and gave the Eagles the lead—it also gave Geborski a hat trick.
“Scoring a hat trick in the final game of the year felt pretty nice, thinking back to it,” Geborski said. “But at the moment I was just happy that the team was able to come back from being down most of the game and winning 4-3.”
The Eagles over the last two weeks have been a dominating third-period team, making two comebacks in a row by scoring three goals in the third period against UTSG Black last week to tie the game. The final goal against UTSG Black came with 12 seconds left on the clock, then, against UTSG Red, there were two goals in the final five minutes.
Of course, it wasn’t only Geborski who generated these goals. “The biggest help would be the players who made the play happen for me to get the shot off,” said Geborski.
All the players know that they need the team behind one another—plays are never made by only one individual. “I wouldn’t have gotten those chances if the goalie wasn’t making the saves and the defence weren’t making the right plays and getting the puck up to the forwards,” said Geborski.
“We hadn’t had our best games against the St. George teams, but being able to come back, and squeak out a win and a tie while being down with two minutes to go really shows how talented we are, how much the guys want it, and how we have come together,” said coach Mike Keaveney.
As a third-period team over the last two games, all the players are pushing to make the final moments happen, and in two weeks, they have. When Geborski scored the game-winning goal the benches exploded with cheering. “Those are the moments that make this fun.”
Of course, as with any team, the players have gelled with each other over the last few months, and that too can be part of why the team is playing so well together.
“What I love most about playing with the Eagles is how easygoing everyone is,” Geborski said. “It’s always a fun time for games and practices. We come out hard in games and are focused, but there is always space for laughter and jokes.”
As the Eagles store away their gear for the Christmas break, they end this half of the season with nine points and 25 goals, leading the standings.
“I know the guys, and I’m sure they will be eating a lot, studying a lot, and not playing too much hockey,” Keaveney said about the upcoming break. “I anticipate a few of them to be out of shape. We’re going to have to wallop the ice in the New Year to prepare for the second half.”
In five games, the Eagles have made more progress, shocked more players, and had more fun than any of the players expected. Whether it is the players, the coaching, or a combination of the two, the team is having a fantastic year.