On September 15, the Varsity Blues men’s hockey team kicked off their preseason on home ice against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. It was a lively game, and the Blues’ defense put them in a spot to take home a 4–3 win.
The Blues found their rhythm early in the game, eager to get back on the ice since their season ended in March. Second-year forward Nicholas Wong kept the Gee-Gees on their toes by scoring two goals in the first eight minutes of the game. Soon after Wong’s second goal, Blues defenseman Emmett Serensits scored a power-play goal assisted by forward Ben Woodhouse, extending the Blues’ lead to 3–0 heading into the second period.
Blues forward Julian Recine opened the second period with an unassisted goal — his first with the team. This kind of gameplay is something to look out for as the Blues move through the season, especially from Recine, a rookie player who is clearly integrating well with the rest of the team. Yet, the Blues soon lost their 4–0 lead when Ottawa scored two power-play goals to put themselves on the scoreboard.
The third period was a rough one for the Blues, as defenseman Nick Grima accumulated two penalties. The second penalty for Grima nearly cost the Blues the game, but the referees only gave the penalty after Grima attempted to defend his goalie, Jett Alexander.
“I saw [a Gee-Gees player] take a couple [of] whacks at our goalie Jetter there, who was keeping us in it throughout the game,” said Grima in a postgame interview with The Varsity. Grima expressed that he simply stepped up to defend his teammate.
With the Gee-Gees on the power-play as a result of the penalty, Ottawa scored their third goal of the evening. The Gee-Gees now trailed a point behind the Blues.
“I could’ve done a better job,” Grima admitted later, reflecting on his penalties. “Next time I’ll keep my emotions in check, [but] thank god my team could bail me out and finish [with] the win.”
With tight defense and consistent saves from Alexander, the Blues managed to hold the lead and secure their first win of the preseason.
“I think our team did a great job getting into the plays and moving pucks quickly,” said Wong in a post-game interview with The Varsity. He specifically praised his fellow forwards Graham Dickerson and Bill Moskal for their speed and playmaking. “We’re just kind of opening space, moving in and filling into lanes and [making] opportunities happen,” he added.
What’s next After a 3–0 loss in their game against the Carleton Ravens on September 16 — covered in an online article on The Varsity’s website — the Blues will host Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks in their next game at Varsity Arena on September 22.