Oxford vs Cambridge Hockey Alumni’s 2017 Ottawa Cup

On Saturday March 25th at the University of Ottawa, alumni hockey players representing 7 decades of the Oxford and Cambridge University Ice Hockey Clubs came together for the Ottawa Cup. Several family members joined in on each side, forming 3 solid lines per team.

The opening puck drop featured two alumni from the 1950s clubs: John Graham of Cambridge (Trinity, 1956) and Denis Smith of Oxford (University College, 1954). Setting the tone for the game, Cambridge captain Peter Anderson (St John’s, 1967) took no prisoners in winning the ceremonial puck drop against Oxford Captain David Lametti (Exeter, 1991).

The 1st period featured evenly matched action, ending in zeros on the board, but it was Lametti’s Dark Blues who owned the 2nd period, storming ahead with 3 unanswered goals. Anderson’s Light Blues found their answer in the 3rd period however, chipping away at Oxford’s lead. Cambridge still trailed in the 3rd period, but John Graham, who had by this time volunteered to run the scoreboard, grew tired of seeing Oxford in the lead. Not in a position to jump on the ice to sort this deficit out like he would in the ‘50s, John plugged in a 3-3 tie on the big clock, foreshadowing a comeback. Sure enough, within minutes Cambridge scored the game-tying, bar-down goal.

Both Light and Dark Blue battled in the final minutes of the game to get their teams engraved first on the Ottawa Cup, but the final buzzer sounded with the game still deadlocked. With eager kids standing by for the family skate, the teams decided to conclude the game at 3-3. Player of the Game awards (a bottle of port) went to Cambridge goalie Brian Barrett (Jesus, 2001) and Oxford goalie Alan Keeso (Green Templeton, 2013).

The organizers would like to thank everyone for participating and supporting the alumni match, especially those who travelled from out of province and country. Thanks go out to John Hall (Green College, 1987), who organized the Oxford alumni games in Ottawa in years past, and Cambridge’s Donald Bur (Magdalene, 1988) and Oxford’s Bryan MacMillan (Christ Church, 2002), who both contributed to the alumni distribution lists from the annual Toronto game (coming up April 1st!). We also thank J-P Augustine, who will be putting together a video featuring in-game action and interviews with alumni on their Varsity Match experiences. We wish both John Hall and Ian McLean (Christ Church, 1975) speedy recoveries so they can join us on the ice next year.

Please send suggestions for next year’s game to Peter (profpja@gmail.com) and/or Alan (alan.d.keeso@gmail.com). We’ve had most alumni already commit to returning next year with some suggestions on building the game for our hockey alumni, as well as the overall event for the broader Oxbridge alumni community. We will work hard to get our women’s alumni better represented on the ice, but we thank Cambridge hockey alum Julie Barrette (Lucy Cavendish, 2009) and the one who got it all started for Oxbridge women’s hockey, Deborah Coyne (Wadham, 1981), for attending.

Thank you again and see you all next year for the 2018 edition of the Ottawa Cup!