Varsity Ice Hockey is widely regarded as the biggest spectacle on the University sporting calendar. Taking place at the renowned National Ice Centre at the Motorpoint arena, hundreds of Trent and UoN students packed in to witness a fantastic evening of entertainment. Amongst the crowd were the Impact Sport team, who followed the action closely. With both teams training and playing together as a part of the Nottingham Mavericks Ice Hockey side, you would be excused for thinking this was going to be a tame affair. In the end, it was anything but.
It was a fast start to the game for the Green and Gold with #27 Shaw having a shot on target within moments of the first period face off. Trent grew into the game, however, with #23 Yokoyama dribbling through 3 UoN players before being unable to put the shot away.
Relentless pressure from the Notts attackers… inevitably culminated in a goal
UoN were faced with an early scare, after #2 Brothwell received a 2-minute penalty for tripping, leaving the Green and Gold down to 5 players during a crucial moment in the match. Things were looking down for Notts too when just after Brothwell returned to the ice, #25 David Astell was shown the sin bin after a reckless challenge on a Trent attacker.
Notts steadied the ship however as a save from #17 Thompson got the UoN faithful pumped up. This was followed by relentless pressure from the Notts attackers which inevitably culminated in a goal for the Green and Gold with a fine finish from #19 Marples. 1-0 UoN!
An assured defensive effort led by Thompson in goal meant that Nottingham went into the 1st-period break on top.
Following the intermission, which included a brilliant exhibition from Nottingham Ice Hockey’s U10s Squad, it was all going in Trent’s favour. Another early penalty for UoN’s #10 Wright had ignited the Trent army who were now putting unbearable pressure on the Notts’ defence. #17 Thomspon, once again, with some assured saves.
The game had come alive and was becoming a scrappy affair
Notts looked to be pushing on too after #3 Springer-Hughes found themselves with acres of space in the Trent half but couldn’t get it past the Trent goalie. Straight after, Trent executed the perfect counterattack with #23 Yokoyama dribbling through defenders and squeezing the puck in. UoN 1-1 Trent.
The game had come alive and was becoming a scrappy affair. The Green and Gold thought for a moment they had another goal following a scramble right in front of the Trent goal. Fortunately, they didn’t have to wait long, and #27 Shaw capitalised on the increase in pressure and put Notts ahead once again. 2-1 UoN! The time expired in period 2 and Notts were now just 20 minutes away from Varsity glory.
What makes the Varsity Ice Hockey so popular for fans in attendance is the wide range of entertainment on show throughout the game. The break between periods 2 and 3 saw both University’s cheerleading teams put on a mesmerising performance and the contest everyone was waiting for: THE SPORTS OFFICER SHOOTOUT.
AJ Goode for Uni of and Zoe Clifford from Trent both lined up on the halfway line to each take three shots at goal. It’s fair to say whilst AJ is a fantastic Sports Officer, loved by all, the NHL won’t be calling anytime soon! All three of UoN’s penalty attempts were wayward and after an initial taste of the ice from Zoe, she got back up on her feet and scored her second penalty. Trent took the first win of the night, and it all went downhill for UoN from here.
After a slow start to the final period, Trent scored two quick goals in succession thanks to excellent work from #16. 3-2 Trent. Things were to get even worse when Yokoyama once again slotted one past Thompson in the UoN goal. 4-2 Trent.
5-2 Trent… Game Over
Notts were in panic mode and began looking for a goal quickly. A bold move from the coaching staff saw UoN have 6 outfield players on the ice with no one between the sticks. Unfortunately, the strategy didn’t pay off and Trent’s #9 Lim casually sent the puck into an open goal. 5-2 Trent… Game Over!
A disappointing end to an otherwise fantastic evening for the Green and Gold. It took the overall varsity score to 6-4, setting up an intense final week ahead for the remainder of the varsity fixtures. Trent’s fight and tenacity in the final period showed and the comeback showed their fierce determination and character. Congratulations to both teams for putting on a brilliant spectacle.
Featured image used courtesy of NottsVarsity/Gallery. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image 1 courtesy of @uonsport via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image 2 courtesy of @ntusport via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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