Ottawa, ON – On Friday, January 21st, the OUA announced a timeline that gave players an indication of when they would be allowed to train and get back into game shape. Although an entire full season cannot be completed in the remaining time, the OUA has made efforts in making sure teams finish with an equivalent amount of games, with the second half of the season being rescheduled.
For the Carleton Ravens, many players were anxious to see when and where some of their rescheduled games would happen. As they skimmed through the revised schedule, they would have seen that they head back to the Ice House with home and home games against the Concordia Stingers and McGill Redbirds.
A winter game against their cross-town rivals, the uOttawa Gee-Gees, was missing from the schedule. That means that one of the most significant omissions from the 2022 winter schedule for the second year in a row is the Colonel By Classic, a game that both teams look forward to.
Typically taking place at TD Arena – home of the Ottawa 67s, the most recent Colonel By Classic game in 2019 ended with a 4-2 Ravens win and set an all-time attendance with a capacity of 2,681. The Carleton Ravens own a 3-1 all-time series lead over the Ottawa Gee-Gee’s in the Colonel By Classic.
“I just feel heartbroken for them. They already don’t get the recognition they deserve, and it’s the biggest game of the year aside from playoffs where you get a good crowd. It fuels emotion, and you’re a better player because of it,” said former Raven’s defenceman Andrew Jarvis.
“A lot of people that go watch always leave really impressed and wanting to watch more OUA hockey, but unfortunately, there’s no rules to be followed or a feasible way to play a game of hockey. Nothing in the slightest way makes sense, and it’s hurting the league/student-athletes.”
Jarvis had the opportunity to play in a Colonel By Classic and what truly stood out for him was the atmosphere. “There is just a buzz city-wide; it’s good for students, fans of the game, and everyone involved; you’re jacked up all day knowing that you get to play in front of a packed crowd for the first time since junior, students bring the energy. Whenever there is a big hit or blocked shot, good play, and obviously a goal, the crowd lets you know.”
Although the Colonel By Classic will be foregone, the Capital Hoops basketball games will be played on Feb. 18.
The news that they would not be playing in the classic left Ravens team members upset.
“It’s disappointing,” said rookie forward Oliver Castleman. “It’s the most anticipated game of the year. I know myself, as well as many other guys on the team, were most stoked for the game, and we don’t get to see who the better men’s hockey team is.”
Public health has to come first, but it cannot be denied that losing a game that everyone circles on the calendar definitely hurts. For seniors, they may not get another shot to play, and after the success of Panda Game 2021, it truly is a significant loss for the league and the players not to have what could have been a marquee winter matchup play out.