On February 3, the Varsity Blues men’s hockey team faced the Brock Badgers for the second time this season. This time, in a game taking place at the Varsity Arena, the Blues came looking for revenge against the team ranked third in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West — but just missed the mark.

What happened

The Blues came in on fire. Just after the first five minutes, the Blues kicked it off with a 1–0 lead put in by forward Ross Krieger and assisted by defenseman Nick Grima. The Badgers tied up the game not long after. Nearing the end of the first period, the Blues were awarded two power plays. With the five-on-three advantage, Grima took the opening and scored a goal assisted by forwards Zach Smith and Owen Robinson, making it a 2–1 game.

When asked about making those offensive plays as a defenseman, Grima told The Varsity, “I don’t do much different every game… when the opportunity [to score] comes, [I take it]. It ended up working out today.”

The Badgers took control in the second period, scoring on a power play in the first two minutes, tying up the game. Making things more tense, the Badgers’ centre Frank Pucci was to take a penalty shot against the Blues. Determined to keep the game alive, goalie Jett Alexander maintained composure, saving the shot. Unfortunately, the Badgers scored their third goal of the game on another power play, taking a 3–2 lead. 

Fans at the arena seemed anxious going into the third period, though the Blues showed promise. Early in the third, Blues forward Steven Elliot scored, making it a 3–3 game. Quinn Hanna and Emmett Serensits assisted on the goal. 

With less than a minute to go, wondering if the game would go to overtime, the Badgers scored, making it 3–4 in their favour. Each of the coaches called a timeout in hopes that their teams could do what it would take to win. Unfortunately, even as the Blues pulled their goalie, making it six on five for a chance to tie up the game, they suffered the loss.

The game was far from a blowout. Grima — a key factor in the first half of the game — felt that although the team was on the same page for the first period and a half, their unpredictability toward the end helped lead the Badgers to their success.

Grima talked about his thoughts from the game: “I think we showed that they’re one of the top teams, and we can compete with them and take a lead on them. I think it is just closing it out and playing a full 60 [minutes].”  

What’s next

On February 4, the Varsity Blues came out strong against the Laurier Golden Hawks, playing the full 60 minutes and eventually winning the game 3–2.

The Blues remain fifth in the OUA West, with their last two games of the season against the York Lions and the Badgers coming up before the playoffs begin in less than two weeks.