The UTM men’s hockey team played UTSC in the East-West Classic game last Wednesday, October 18 at Varsity Arena. This was UTM’s first game of the season but was also a match where both teams battled for the champion classic title. The game was filled with aggression, determination, and celebrations. There were roughly eight penalties given throughout the game, with at least six penalties given in a very heated third period.
The first period was an even match with both teams getting chances to score. Only about 1:30 into the game, UTSC gets a two-minute penalty for slashing. While on the power play, UTM struggled to keep the puck out of their end. UTSC got an opportunity to score and buried this chance in the back of the net. A UTSC player shot the puck and his teammate was there to get the rebound. The period ended 1-0 for UTSC.
Once again, UTSC got a penalty less than two minutes into the second period for having too many men on the ice. This allowed UTM their second power play of the game where they applied more pressure and had better opportunities to score. Unfortunately, they were unable to put one in the back of the net and the power play ended still 1-0 for UTSC. A scramble in front of the UTM net allowed a second unlucky goal by UTSC. The UTSC player shot the puck, and just when fans were relieved it hit the backboard, the puck came flying back and hit the goalies skate and into the net—due to all the commotion in front of the net, it was unclear if the UTSC player had placed it into the net or if it only hit the goalies skate and in. Regardless, this meant that UTSC led the game by two points. With less than three minutes left in the second period, UTSC gets their third and final goal of the game. The UTM player pinched too far and misread the play. He thought he could get the puck but the UTSC player was too quick and skated around him, allowing his team another goal.
The third period showed plenty of emotion and it was obvious that UTM was hungry for a goal. Just like the first two periods, UTSC was first to receive a penalty less than two minutes into the third for cross-checking.
However, shortly after, UTM received their first penalty of the game by Curtis Marusiak for slashing. After this, the game really started to heat up after a UTSC player got ejected from the game for a reckless hit on UTM’s, Sam Abdunabi.
UTSC also received a five-minute penalty for cross-checking to accompany the ejection. With five minutes left in the game, Abdunabi received a penalty for roughing. Not too long after this, UTM received another penalty against Filip De Braga for cross-checking. Just when fans thought the game couldn’t get died down, a UTSC player received a two-minute penalty for body contact. With 1:30 left in the game, the UTM coach, Michael Keaveney, decided to pull the UTM goalie to give UTM the advantage of having an extra player on the attack. With eight seconds left in the game, Abdunabi buries a goal in the top left corner of the net, assisted by teammate, Peter Christopoulius. The final score of the game was 3-1 for UTSC, allowing them to take the champion title.
UTM plays their second game of the season against UTSG on Wednesday, October 25 at Varsity Arena.