Gryphons Send Badgers to Ice Their Bruises at the 2015 Frosty Mug

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Written by Jaimee-Lisa Cotter

For those who are unfamiliar with the Frosty Mug, think of it as Guelph’s winterized version of homecoming. It may not be your traditional homecoming setup, but it undoubtedly is just as much of a cause for celebration.

Held in the Sleeman Centre, which is usually home to the Guelph Storm OHL Hockey Team, the Frosty Mug attracted over 3699 fans—students and non-students alike.

The ceremonial puck-drop was done by Guelph Storm Centre, Team Canada World Juniors 2015 Gold Medalist, and NHL Prospect for the St. Louis Blues, Robby Fabbri. The passion for hockey runs just as strongly in the Fabbri family as it does in the Gryphon community, as Leonard Fabbri, younger brother to the Team Canada Medalist plays as a center for the Guelph Gryphons varsity hockey team.

It was a chilly start to the Frosty Mug, as the Brock Badgers scored two goals within the first two minutes of the game: 44 seconds into the first period, the first goal against the Gryphons was slammed in, and followed with another goal a mere 26 seconds later to set Brock up with a 2-0 lead after 1:10 of play.

As the Gryphons picked up the pace, so did the fans. Right Winger Teal Burns finished off a two on one set up from Guelph captain Daniel Broussard to get the Gryphons on track, and support was unwavering as the crowd erupted after three minutes of waiting for a response to Brock’s opening attack.

Good things must come in threes, because another three minutes after the initial Gryphon goal, former Storm defenseman MacKenzie Nichol set Scott Simmons up with a deflection to tie the game at 2 apiece during the first period.

During the first intermission of the show, Guelph Gryphons Varsity Figure Skating Team performed and pumped up the crowd with a clean, synchronized routine that wowed spectators and showed the shared ice and comradery that Guelph’s blade-bottomed athletes have amongst each other.

The second period started off with a bang as Brock put in another goal around two minutes in, and Guelph answered the call a mere 50 seconds later with a sharp shot from the corner by center Carlos Amestoy to once again tie the game at 3-3.

Team and school spirit were running high, and a look at the crowd was an easy indication of the support that not only students had for the Gryphons, but the entire Guelph community as well. Cow bells were in full swing as many of Guelph’s minor hockey teams, community coaches and hockey moms young and old swam right alongside UoG students in the sea of red and gold.

Along with the figure skating team members of the varsity women’s hockey, varsity men’s rugby, varsity women’s rugby and women’s field hockey teams were also in attendance and cheering on their fellow athletes.

Local sponsors of the University of Guelph Hockey program were there with loaded t-shirt cannons, noise makers, and other give-aways and prizes between periods as well as making contributions to local charities, while mugs were kept frosty and fans hydrated by the official venue sponsors.

It was the Gryphons who opened the scoring at the start of the third period, on a Nicklas Huard glove side snipe to make the score 4-3 for the Gryphons. Brock was quick to respond with a goal to take the score back to a tie at 4-4 two minutes afterward.

With fans taking the volume up a notch and the wave making its rounds throughout the building, the relentless Guelph forecheck that dominated most of the game caused a turnover which lined up Gryphons center Michael Hasson for the go-ahead goal with eight minutes left in the game.

Guelph survived a last ditch onslaught by the Brock Badgers thanks to several clutch saves made by Gryphon goaltender Andrew D’Agostini down the stretch, managing to block out 26 of 30 shots on net throughout the night.

The Frosty Mug was truly put on ice when Gryphons Forward Jordan Mock in an empty net goal with 30 seconds left to put the nail in the coffin for the 6-4 final, bringing the Gryphons out on top.

The Gryphons Men’s Varsity Hockey Team went on to defeat the York University Lions 4-3 the following night and are now tied with University of Toronto Varsity Blues for the last spot in the OUA West Division playoffs.

With only six games remaining in the regular season, the playoff fate of the Guelph Gryphons may come down to the final two home games of the season versus the Western University Mustangs on February 5 and the University of Waterloo Warriors on February 7 at the Gryphon Centre. Puck drops at 7:30, go Gryphons go!

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