Varsity Ice Hockey 2015: Match Report
On April 29th, the Capital FM arena was once again host to Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham for the annual Ice Hockey match as part of the 2015 Varsity Series between the two universities.
By NTU students James Carstairs and Ola Fisayo
On April 29, the Capital FM arena was once again host to Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham for the annual Ice Hockey match as part of the 2015 Varsity Series between the two universities. This is usually the most anticipated event of the series, and had an incredible attendance this year, nearly filling the arena. It was shaping up to be an exciting game, and by 6.45pm, the atmosphere was electric and the crowd were ready for the three periods of hockey.
The game began cautiously, with both teams taking shots from distance. Some fantastic goal keeping from both sides. The keepers, Porter (72, NTU) and Betts (64, UoN) were both on terrific form for the first period, with Betts making some incredible diving saves that seemed like certain goals for NTU. At the end of the first period, NTU had 21 shots on target. They were knocking on the door, but Betts was refusing to let them in. After 10 minutes of the first period, Alex Stewart (UoN) opened the scoring for The University of Nottingham side, and was shortly followed by Bradshaw to make it 2-0 from a quick counter attack. This was followed again by Christy Johnson-Brown’s shot on target with one minute to go, beating Porter and making the score 3-0 by the end of the first period. Although NTU had 21 shots on target in the first period compared to the 11 from UoN, Betts was having an outstanding game and was keeping UoN at a comfortable distance from NTU.
The second period held a strong start for NTU with Kirkland Evans (85, NTU) and Carlyle Mazankowski (10, NTU) creating some good opportunities. But Bradshaw then found his way through for his 2nd of the night for the UoN side, sealing an MVP performance. He was quickly sin binned for 2 minutes after the goal, putting NTU on the front foot for a short while. A number of close calls and fights caused the tension to rise in the stadium, the NTU supporters willing their team to start a comeback, but by the end of a fairly uneventful 2nd period on the ice, the University of Nottingham had a 4-0 lead over the NTU side.
The start of the third period was tense, as NTU needed something to put them back into the game. Hope eventually came in the form of Joseph Steeples (13, NTU), who smacked a shot from distance to finally beat Betts for the first time, making the score 4-1. Steeples continued to put in a great shift, being a physical presence all over the rink and creating good opportunities for his side. The first NTU goal gave the crowd a massive moral boost and the players reacted by causing trouble for the UoN side. NTU were awarded a penalty, and scored again with 12:30 left on the clock. It felt like everyone in the stadium believed that a comeback was on the cards for NTU, and Carlyle Mazankowski pushed them that little bit closer by scoring to make it 4-3 in favour of UoN. With under eight minutes remaining, NTU were on all-out attack mode, but Betts had rediscovered his earlier form, and blocked everything coming his way. The final few seconds of the game were absolute chaos.
With only seconds left on the clock, the buzzer sounded and everyone thought that the University of Nottingham had taken the win. The angered NTU crowd to begin throwing bottles, cups and debris on to the rink as Joseph Steeples squared off against a UoN player, eventually being removed from the game because of this. But the game was not over yet. The referees had called the play back for icing, leaving seven seconds left on the clock. But this was not enough time for the NTU side to get the equalizing goal, and the University of Nottingham took the win away with them, putting the overall 2015 Varsity score to 6-1 in favour of UoN.
Varsity Ice Hockey 2015: Match Report
- Category: Sport