Mixed fortunes as Metros’ finish biggest season yet
Manchester Metros, the ice hockey team for Manchester’s Universities, have ended their most successful season ever by winning the British Universities Ice Hockey Association Division 1 Play-off final. They were pitted against southern champions Oxford Blues, with an 8-5 final score in a tense game in Sheffield. There were massive contributions from University of Manchester students in the form of an opening goal from Sports Scholar Max Drakeley, and some top shot-blocking from anthropology student Robyn Maby in goal, resulting in her being selected the team’s Most Valuable Player.
The win was followed by a disappointing weekend at Tier I Nationals with some tough opposition and some missed chances meaning Metros A failed to make it past the group stages.
The club has come a long way however since their formation in 2004. Back then there was only a small squad of players and training sessions as far away as Bradford and Sheffield. This season the club boasts 71 registered players from numerous institutions, including 18 from the University of Manchester, across four squads.
This year the C team came second in Division 3 North in their first season in existence, only being beaten by the B teams of Hull and Edinburgh. The Metros B squad meanwhile faced a hard season with the opposition including A teams from across the country often starring quality overseas players.
This also saw the club embark on its first foreign excursion following an invite to the Czech Republic in March to play their current university champions, UTB, in Zlín. In front of an intimidating crowd the Metros played much of the game in their own zone, with the score ending 8-2 to the home team. Yet the trip was a positive experience and the team hope to increase links with overseas teams. In addition, there are plans next year for the first ever Manchester ice hockey varsity match.
The club is always looking for new players and enthusiastically welcomes beginners as well as those with experience.