The Light Blues have now won the fixture four times in a row since losing 4-3 to Oxford in 2018Dik Ng/DKNG Photography

Following on from the Women’s emphatic 6-3 victory earlier on the ice, Cambridge Men’s Blues triumphed over Oxford in this year’s Varsity Ice Hockey match, winning by a score of 4-2.

Two goals in the final period ensured that the Light Blues walked away with the King Edward VII Cup on Saturday evening (12/3) at Cambridge Ice Arena.

Cambridge’s Men took the win in last year’s Varsity Match, defeating the Dark Blues 4-3 after a shootout due to the 3-3 deadlock in regulation time.

Saturday’s victory marked the fourth Varsity consecutive win for the Light Blues.

Following the observation of a minute’s silence to reflect on the war in Ukraine, then accompanied by the national anthems of both Canada and Great Britain, the ceremonial puck drop was performed by Heather Richardson, whose family contributed significant sums towards the construction of the Arena that was opened in 2019.

The first period of play was quickly dominated by Cambridge, captained by Ivan Grega, who camped out in the Oxford zone during the opening minutes. Oxford goalie Eli Harris-Trent, playing out of Austin, Texas, was called into making some brilliant saves.

Martin Limback-Stokin headed to the box for Cambridge after picking up a cross-checking penalty in the third minute, briefly stifling the Light Blue swarm. Like the Women in their earlier game, Oxford found themselves on the power play early doors, forcing Cambridge into the penalty kill.

Capitalising on the player advantage, Jeffrey Fasegha came close to making it 1-0 to the visitors, ripping it high and wide of the goal in what was Oxford’s first real chance.

Limback-Stotin returned after serving his two minutes, ending a good kill from Cambridge.

Cambridge's Ryan Tan in action on the iceDik Ng/DKNG Photography

End-to-end play ensued, with Oxford’s Fasegha and Cambridge’s Tomos Griffiths exchanging chances, only to be cancelled out by Sean Hazaray’s opener for the Dark Blues against the run of play. Henry Rhyu, who enjoyed a fruitful career in junior hockey over in Canada, picked up the assist, leaving the score at 1-0 just shy of ten minutes left.

Scott Partington came close to responding for Cambridge, but a string of great saves from Harris-Trent miraculously kept Oxford ahead. Not for long, however, as Evgeny Goncharov equalised off a Limback-Stokin assist with eight-and-a-half minutes to go.

Fasegha’s extras on Cambridge’s Grega then looked to spark a sequence of aggressive plays, at one point resulting in a three-on-three towards the end of the period. Oxford’s Fasegha was happy to play the villain for the evening, as the crowd cheered when he saw the box for a penalty infringement.

Both sides went into the first break on a level footing at 1-1.

But Rhyu blisteringly opened the scoring in the period after just two-and-a-half minutes. George Batchkala grabbed the assist.

Going behind for the second time, Cambridge looked for an instant reply. Goncharov spearheaded the Light Blue attack, really turning up the intensity in an effort to get the home side firing on all cylinders, but some great saves from Harris-Trent and a crucial block from Jacob Honig-Rozario kept the Oxford lead intact.

Partington struck the post with thirteen to go, while at the other end Matthew Neville came up strong between the Cambridge pipes, battling away to hold the Dark Blue wave at bay and keep his side within one.

Tomos Griffiths parades the King Edward VII Cup around a sold-out ArenaDik Ng/DKNG Photography

A stroke of genius and skill, however, was enough to bring things back to even, as Cambridge’s Jack Yan made it 2-2 after sweeping from the neutral zone out to the left to evade the Dark Blue defenders before coming back in to smash it past Harris-Trent with five to go.

Griffiths nearly made it 3-2, but somehow Oxford’s Texan goaltender emerged with puck in glove to mark a frantic close to the second period.

With the final period getting underway, Aiden Tamasauskas nearly put the Light Blues ahead after picking the puck up in the neutral zone, charging towards the Oxford net only to be denied by some brilliant last-ditching defending from Rhyu.

Fasegha continued to deliver some great hits on the defensive end, but these paled in comparison to a serious bit of contact in front of the Oxford net, resulting in Cambridge’s Samu Marosi along with Mikhail Agureev and Grierson Turpie heading to the box for Cambridge and Oxford respectively.

Some confusion surrounding the awarding of these penalties caused a brief stoppage in play, allowing for the home crowd to burst into chant.


Mountain View

Cambridge Women defeat Oxford in Varsity Ice Hockey

Almost in sync, the Light Blues then sprung into dominance, with most of the play between fifteen and five minutes left taking hold of the Oxford zone. Repreve for Oxford came with five minutes to go, as a dash from Tamasauskas was closely followed by a scuffed shot from Ryan Tan, allowing Harris-Trent to keep the puck out the Dark Blue net for the time being.

But Cambridge found the breakthrough with just under four minutes to go, when Partington on the right found Limback-Stokin with a neat pass, with the attacker then sniping the puck beyond Harris-Trent. The arena erupted, as the Light Blues put themselves 3-2 to the good.

Cambridge held out with some great defensive play in the closing stages, as Oxford desperately searched for an equaliser. Out of his net, Harris-Trent was subsequently dispossessed by a curious Partington, who converted to seal the deal for the Light Blues.

As We Are the Champions chorused round the Arena to signal the end of this year’s historic fixture, Fasegha won Oxford’s MVP and Grega took Cambridge’s equivalent, while Limback-Stokin was awarded silverware for his assist and game-winning goal in the contest.

The Men’s victory meant that Cambridge did the double over Oxford this time out, as the Women’s Blues stormed to a 6-3 victory earlier in the evening.

Varsity Player of the Match: Martin Limback-Stokin (Cambridge)


Cambridge: Samu Marosi, Martin Limback-Stokin, Scott Partington, Ryan Tan, Lucas Maddalena, Aiden Tamasauskas, Jack Yan, Evan Talbot, Tomos Griffiths, Ivan Grega (C), Jonathan Konig, Evgeny Goncharov, Jonathan Parker, Matthew Neville

Head Coach: Bill Harris

Oxford: Henry Rhyu, Sean Hazaray, Eric Budgell, Jaewon La, Jeffrey Fasegha, George Batchkala, Jacob Honig-Rozario, Wade Kamphus, Matthew Downer (C), Christian Norton, Grierson Turpie, Nils Lager, Aidan Richardson, Mikhail Agureev, Eli Harris-Trent