Jamal Thomas Rizvi went to the ice hockey match between UCL and Imperial, where, despite the ice, things got a little heated between the two sides
Before the match began, James Rushworth, Vice President of the UCL Ice Club, gave us the hopeful, optimistic, and ultimately prophetic words of, “we’ve got quite a strong team. Hopefully this year will be 3rd time lucky!” Why he was talking to me and not warming up, I don’t know. Luckily it didn’t matter, as this evening was going to turn out to be a good one for UCL Ice Hockey.
While I spoke with James, I did my best to maintain concentration as Imperial’s figure skating cheerleaders gave the audience an excellent show. The group of girls displayed moves that left the audience in awe, showing a gracefulness and elegancy that would not be continued into the match itself. That was the only time during the evening that members of Imperial left the crowd impressed.
So the game began and with it came lots of slams, trips and flying pucks. It was a pretty even first third with UCL’s Mark Onemakh going on a great run to get the crowd on their feet, but unfortunately he ended up losing his stick. Soon after this 2 UCL players were sin-binned for an ‘altercation’ with a couple of Imperial’s players. But who can blame them? We were just happy that the game was getting heated.
UCL managed to survive the 2 minutes without their players without conceding, but once the two offenders re-joined the rink, a simple pass-and-move play from Imperial led to a goal on their part. This only increased the decibel level from the UCL camp and within a few minutes an equaliser was brought about by Harry Connelly, number 69 (I’m trying my best to resist a cheap and immature joke here (editor’s note: as a I, Jamal. As am I)). The first third ended 1-1.
It was the middle third which would bring the most drama. Right at the beginning, Connelly struck again to give UCL the lead at 2-1. I guess the Imperial goalie was just not used to a taste of some 69 action (I tried to resist but his number was 69 and he did score twice. Forgive me (*sigh*)). Following this came the first proper fight of the day. Players from each side were subsequently sin binned, but this punishment did not deter either side as another fight broke out straight afterwards. This was what the ice hockey novices came to see – a literal beating of Imperial.
3-1 up, UCL captain Guido de Boer struck his puck from long-range and nutmegged the keeper. And it got even better when another fight broke out. This time with the Imperial culprit removing his helmet in an attempt to show his bravery.
Great saves from the UCL keeper(s) were a common sight. Having had a very good game, the two keepers, James Rushworth and Joseph Nelson, showed absolute commitment when defending UC’s goal. But, with less than a minute to go, Imperial countered and got one back. Not to be deterred, UCL came straight back with a goal from the coach Chris Fox. He couldn’t afford to miss – he had to set an example, of course.
The final third was a goalless one, with the highlight being the referee getting floored by one of the UCL Yetis. So overall there were brawls, scrambles, trips, flicks, sin bins, chants from the crowd, and occasionally some ice hockey was played. A great result for the UCL Yetis.