Battling Blues Lose in Dragons’ Den

Cambridge’s Ice Hockey Blues lose 8 – 6 to the London Dragons in a tight contest. Read more here.

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London Dragons 8 – 6 Cambridge Blues

Cambridge took on the might of the London Dragons last week, ahead of their Varsity Match this coming Saturday. Two London goals in the final five minutes of the last period condemned Cambridge to defeat after a hard-fought encounter.

Ice Hockey is one of Cambridge’s forgotten sports. Despite being a member of an audience of only six at the game, I am forced to admit that it is by far the most exciting sport I have ever watched a team from Cambridge play. Players are only on the ice for shifts of 40 seconds at a time and, as President Rich Trueman noted, “It’s a 40 second sprint. It demands pace, stamina, strength and skill”.

Any student from any University in London is eligible to play for the Dragons and as a result their pool of potential ice hockey players is far greater than that of Cambridge. Already big rivals, the fact that nearly all the Blues players were from North America and most of London’s players were Russian added more ferocity to this icy showdown.

The first period was dead even. London took the lead twice, but both times Cambridge equalised through Randlett and Whillier. The teams ended the period at 2-2.

The second period was a tense affair, seeing some massive hits from both sides. After London had taken an early advantage Tavana popped up twice for Cambridge to make it 4-3 to the Blues halfway through. Cambridge keeper Mazurek made some great stops and London, despite scoring two more points, became increasingly frustrated.

Several Dragons vented their irritation by making some harsh challenges on Cambridge players who clearly weren’t interfering with play. One such challenge on Blues player Fielding left the players, coach and Cambridge’s boisterous travelling support (me) shouting at the referee to do his job.

It was Dave Waterman who struck back for Cambridge, slamming the offending player from London so hard into the side-wall that one of the London WAGs screamed in shock. Waterman left the Dragon moaning on the ice in a world of pain and skated off, shouting “Woo! I fuckin’ love this sport!” at his team-mates. A late shot from Whillier then levelled the scores at 5-5 going into the final period.

Cambridge started the third period on fire, Pete Morelli shooting home to make the score 6-5 to the Light Blues. This was, however, the final point that the away team would net in the match. London made full use of their home advantage to slot home 3 times in the final ten minutes to snatch the win from Cambridge’s grasp.

Blues coach Bill Harris was of the opinion that Cambridge were “unfortunate to lose”. Harris was clear that their attention is now solely focused on the Varsity Match – “It’s going to be a tight one, a big one, and yes, we’re confident!”

Blues Ice Hockey President (and the team’s only Englishman) Rich Trueman said “This is the best team we’ve had for years. We lost Varsity 4-2 last year, but this year I really believe we can produce a win!”

The Tab will be bringing you exclusive coverage from this weekend’s Varsity Match. We’ll also be bringing you highlights on TabTV.