By Adam Peace
On November 18, the Esprit de Corps Commando-Lites and the Russian Embassy Red Machine came together at the University of Ottawa Minto Sportsplex to play a friendly game of hockey in the late afternoon – a precursor to the University of Ottawa military appreciation night game between their Gee Gees squad and Royal Military College Paladins.
The Commando-Lites, captained by Esprit de Corps’ production manager Julie Simoneau have played several Charity Exhibition games to date, however the Red Machine was not their typical opponent. This time around, the Lites roster consisted of 9 women and 6 men, while the Red Machine fielded a full squad of cold-blooded Russian men only.
The Red Machine came out with all guns blazing and managed to score a few goals early on with most of the credit going to their superstar player #13 Evgeniy Petrenko. After two full periods the score was a very one-sided 5-0.
In the third period the Lites picked up their defensive socks, dug hard, and managed a handful of good quality scoring chances on Red Machine net. Unfortunately, the Commando Lites could not convert any of those chances into goals, and after another 20 minutes the final score did not change.
A large, proud crowd of receptive fans from the Russian side was in attendance to cheer on their team and to take part in the post game festivities. After a short and heartfelt speech from Russian Ambassador Alexander Darchiev, a reception was held upstairs in the facility with plenty of food and drink for all. The game was also a fund-raiser for Canada’s Cadet Leagues, and an estimated $500 was collected for these invaluable youth organizations
Esprit de Corps can think of no better way to spend a cold November afternoon with our Russian comrades – playing hockey, drinking, eating, and forgetting all of our troubles!