Hockey is a game of ups and downs, and the beginning of its story doesn’t always start at the drop of a puck. Sometimes there’s such a rich history behind a game that its story has been in the works for years. When it comes to the Steel Blade Classic, it’s been 21 years in the making.
Longtime Brock supporter and avid university hockey fan Ed Werner came up with the Steel Blade concept more than two decades ago to help recognize the historical connections of Brock University and to raise the profile of the men’s hockey team.
The annual Steel Blade Classic was established in 1999 and puts the Brock University Badgers against other Canadian, and occasionally, American hockey-playing institutions for one of the best hockey showcases in the Niagara Region.
The inaugural event was a one-game showdown between the Badgers and Niagara University. A near-capacity crowd at Thorold Arena witnessed an exciting game, with spectacular plays and bone-crushing hits with plenty of goals. The two teams “shared” the Steel Blade after a 5-5 tie was declared in overtime.
The Steel Blade Classic trophy, which carries the name of the annual champions, was a donation courtesy of the Werner family. The sword is an 1803 pattern, non-commissioned officer’s “hanger”. It was the sword carried by Sergeants of the Upper Canada Artillery Units and Royal Artillery during the War of 1812. It is a priceless piece of Canadian history.
In its 21-year history, the Badgers have raised the Steel Blade 12 times including six consecutive years.
2018 STEEL BLADE CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS – 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Follow along as Marty Williamson, Brock men’s hockey head coach, Badgers forward Adam Berg, and former defenceman Skylar Pacheco reflect and share commentary on the 2018 Steel Blade Classic — when a record crowd of 5,000 fans watched Brock defeat the Guelph Gryphons 3-1 at the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines.
“The Steel Blade game is the best event of the year. It’s an exhibition game, yet the stakes are as high as a playoff game. Our rivalry with Guelph makes it intense, but the fans take it to another level.
It’s such an awesome event for us players to have our fellow students and fans come out and show incredible support. It’s a testament to our student body, and Brock as a community.”
– Adam Berg, Forward, Brock Men’s Hockey
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL
Take a trip down memory lane by watching highlights from past games.
On Monday, June 8, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced the cancellation of its sport programming and championships up until Dec. 31, 2020 based on provincial public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. While all Fall 2020 athletic events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, the Badgers are continuing with virtual team and coach meetings, online physical, technical, skill and strength training sessions, virtual sport medicine support with therapists and physicians, and mental health and academic support.
While we wish we could celebrate this tradition in person this year, we are grateful to have clips from past games to look back on. Take a scroll through the highlight reel to relive the energy of the Steel Blade Classic and share your own memories from the event with us online!
When the Brock Men’s Hockey team scores the opening goal within the first minute of the Steel Blade Classic game in 2017, there’s only one real way to react.
Click, hold, and turn for a 360° view of the moment.
Friday September 20th, 2013. The Brock Badgers are down 5-1 to the Laurier Golden Hawks in the third period of the annual RBC Steel Blade Classic. You won’t believe what happened next.
“It’s a real celebration of the school. I’m only one year into it and I was shocked how exciting this event was. Homecoming is a fantastic weekend. I’ve stood on that bench many times when I was in the OHL and the energy and passion for the Steel Blade game is unbelievable. It’s the loudest crowd I’ve ever heard in that building. It really is. You can barely talk to your players. You can’t even communicate with them because there’s just a buzz going on.”
– Marty Williamson, Men’s Hockey Head Coach (2018)
Highlights from the 2014 Steel Blade Classic Men’s Hockey matchup between the Brock Badgers and the Guelph Gryphons on Sept. 21, 2014.
Road to the Steel Blade 2016
The Steel Blade Classic is a game that helps set the tone throughout the season and the journey begins long before the puck drops.
BrockTV gave us all a look at what the road to the Steel Blade Classic looks like. Take a peek at the four-part series below!