Ice Ice Baby! UCL prepare for this year’s London Ice Varsity
UCL will be facing Imperial, last year’s Varsity champions, this week in the annual ice hockey showdown
It’s all eyes on the rink this Friday as the formidable UC Yetis take on reigning champions the Imperial Devils in one of UCL’s biggest sporting events.
Over 1200 spectators are expected to watch the unis, who both compete in British Universities Ice Hockey Association’s Division 2 Checking South league, battle it out at Streatham Ice Arena, complete with music, hot dogs and beer!
After winning the inaugural game 7-3 last year, the Devils will face stiff competition from our Yetis, who were unbeaten with 9 wins under their belts until two weeks ago, when they lost 6-4 against Southampton.
Still, it looks like it will be a blue-and-purple victory (UCL colours, in case you didn’t know; shame on you if you didn’t) on Friday.
Whilst UCL is looking pretty at the top of the table having secured 18 league points, Imperial is lagging behind at 5th place with only 8 points.
The Yeti’s top place position will be threatened by Oxford in two league-deciding games in the two weeks before and after Varsity. It’ll be a tough fight to maintain their title, as Oxford will have a game in hand and they have a better goal difference.
The Yetis and Devils have faced each other twice already this term, with UCL winning both times. However, both were close wins, the scores being 5-3 and 3-2.
Varsity will be an intense showdown. Imperial stole the winning glory last year in the annual grudge match, but the UC men feel like they are in better shape this time round.
Captain Ruslan Ponomarev (who broke his finger in last year’s Varsity) says it’s difficult to predict what will happen in front of what promises to be a huge crowd. “A lot will depend on goalie performance – if our keeper Nat Sinclair is on fire, we will have a much better chance.” No pressure at all, Nat!
Let’s hope Yetis’ top scorers Mark Ongemakh, Guido De Boer and Ruslan continue to bring home glory on Friday. Two more Yetis to look out for on the ice are Chris Fox and Maksim “Playstation” Kozlov.