Record Brock crowd rocks Meridian Centre

If there was any doubt the Homecoming Tailgate Party and Steel Blade Classic being held in downtown St. Catharines would become an annual event it went out the window Friday night.

A record Brock University crowd of 3,532 people packed the Meridian Centre to watch the Badgers men’s hockey team beat the Guelph Gryphons in a 4-3 thriller.

It was the first time the Steel Blade Classic had been held downtown, and Brock students filled the arena complex with an energy-filled sea of red.

“It’s great to see this Badger pride getting bigger and bigger,” said Acting President Brian Hutchings. “There’s a wave of energy with our students inspiring our athletes and vice versa. Brock is a great place to go to school, but the student experience is incredible. It’s the icing on the cake.”

Before the game, the first-ever Homecoming Tailgate Party was held in the parking lot of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and the event was a huge success with a massive crowd enjoying music, games, and a barbeque.

Director of Brock Sports Neil Lumsden said the turnout and atmosphere for the Tailgate and Steel Blade game downtown was proof the students will support big, off-campus events.

“If you set the right stage like we did with the Tailgate party and then a game like this with good competition, this is what you get. It’s staggering,” Lumsden said. “The idea was to build a level of competition and a rivalry with another University that we could do every year for the Steel Blade and that’s what we plan to do.”


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