The annual 17th annual Steelblade Classic marks not one… not two… but five consecutive wins for the Brock Badgers men’s hockey team. The annual Steelblade Classic was the start to a full Homecoming week that saw the Badgers sell out Friday’s game against Windsor. The Friday game of the tournament has now sold out for four consecutive years as Badgers fill the rink and cheering the men’s team on, year after year.
Badgers began the tournament started on Thursday night versus Guelph University. The team got a first star performance from goalie Clint Windsor, who made 45 saves in the game to hold Guelph to only two goals. One of Guelph’s goals came with less than a minute left in the game on a power play.
Both teams went scoreless in the first period, but the Badgers quickly opened the scoring coming out of the locker room in the second. Just 3:20 into the second, new player Chris Maniccia scored a power play goal, but Guelph tied it thereafter. Then again, three minutes into the third period another newcomer for Brock, Mitch Nardi scored to make it 2-1 Brock, followed by Greg Jambrosich scoring to make it 3-1 midway through the third. A Yanni Rallis empty netter put the game away for good. This being the first preseason game for the Badgers, a win is exactly what was needed with expectations only rising for Brock.
On Friday night, with 1,716 in attendance, the men came out with even more energy as they fed off a loud Badger army. The building was so electric with the Badger crowd that it was tough to hear yourself think.
Windsor opened the scoring, but it didn’t quiet the crowd for long as a minute later Dan Tanel tied the game. Quickly into the second period, Josh Timpano got the Badgers the lead with a goal and Patrick Volpe continued the goal fest, making it a 3-1 lead for Brock. Timpano added another and Sammy Banga scored two as well, making it a 6-1 win for the Badgers. This win guaranteed Brock a spot in Sunday’s championship game for the Steelblade Classic.
Guelph beat Windsor 4-2 on Saturday night to advance to the Steelblade final.
Guelph got the scoring started as they took a 1-0 lead into the second period. Adam Lloyd evened it up for Brock, but Guelph wasn’t looking for a Thursday replay, so they quickly made it 2-1 in this back and forth contest. The Badgers responded, making it a 3-2 game in the third period, but with 13.7 seconds left the Gryphons tied the game up and sent the championship game to overtime. Banga banged in the game winning goal for Brock as the team came flying onto the ice in celebration of another Steelblade victory.
The Badgers will now go on a short road trip to finish up preseason play. They’ll play two games in Nova Scotia versus Acadia University, then they’ll head to New Brunswick for a game against Universite De Moncton. They’ll finish up with a trip to Columbus, Ohio to play Ohio State. The season opener for Brock is October 8 in Waterloo at 7:30 p.m. and then on Sunday the Badgers will have their home opener versus Western University at the Seymour-Hannah Centre at 7:15 p.m.