Friday October 16, 2015 – The annual Valentine Cup is a newer tradition at St. Mary’s, but the battle brews all year round for the staff and faculty versus students ball hockey game. In anticipation students, staff, and faculty from St. Mary’s practice and strategize for the annual event. A year’s worth of preparation comes to head on the Valentine Courts, which were donated by the Valentine Family.
For two consecutive years, the students (and alumni) have held on to the championship title. Staff and faculty took the two year defeat hard and swore that this year would be the game changer – that they would finally win the Valentine Cup for themselves. The student’s heard this challenge and laughed it off knowing that they had youth and spirit in their back pockets.
In the first 20 minute half, the student’s held strong with goalie Dan Donaldson in net. His quick reflexes stopped numerous shots on the student’s net. But staff and faculty had the upper hand, they were able to have two complete five person shifts, allowing for larger breaks between players. Staff and faculty quickly scored a goal and the crowd went wild. The students thought they would be able to make it back from the first goal, and while they held their ground the staff and faculty would eventually score yet another goal before the end of the half.
Staff and faculty were feeling good about the game. Sitting at 2 to 0 after the first half, their team had a another rush of adreneline. But at the start of the second half the student’s bounced back scoring a goal on the staff and faculty net within the first few minutes. With a new goalie in net, Buddy Wickramasinghe, and BEd students joining the battle after class, it seemed like the students had a chance to take the title. Although they played hard, the student’s could not hold the ball in their court. The staff and faculty broke through the student’s defence and scored another goal, making the game 3 to 1. Minutes went by – another goal for staff and faculty. The student’s were showing their determination, building their defence and pushing the staff and faculty to make more wild plays. The pressure was on, but near the end of the half the student’s saw their chance to keep the title slip away as the staff and faculty slipped yet another goal into the student’s net, a goal that was made by Michael Stafiniak. With seconds left in the game, the staff and faculty secured yet another goal ending the game at 5 to 1.
The staff and faculty, who had rigourously practiced in the weeks before the game, showed their strengths with new and returning players. Bob Hann, the team’s captain and VP Student Services, was the team’s competative motivator. Dr. Peter Baltutis, Michael Stafiniak, Eddy Souriol, Josh Kupper, Krista Larsen, Dr. Ronald Porter, Dr. Corey Wright-Maley (goalie), David Brawn, Jeff Takacs and Laura Cochrane kept the team spirit alive and are the reason for the team’s fantastic win.
The Valentines, who are great supporters and friends of St. Mary’s, presented the prize trophey to the winning team after enjoying the battle between the two teams.