The men’s game started in fantastic fashion when the host, Providence University College, started with the ball and got about three touches on it before Herby Magny sent a rocket into the top of RRC’s net. The crowd erupted and before the game was even thirty seconds old, the underdog PUC was up 1-0.
Shortly after the quick start to the scoring, PUC keeper, Jay Thiellman didn’t have a chance when RRC’s Cesar Carvalho took a corner kick and set up a streaking Alex Castro right in front of the net at the 22 minute mark, tying the game at 1 goal apiece.
With 6:51 left in the first half, PUC’s Hunter Robertson got a free ball from a broken play in front of RRC’s goal and made it count, putting PUC up 2-1.
But PUC kept that lead for less than a minute as Mohammed Bouamira got a perfect pass from Carvalho, who once again set up a teammate from the corner of PUC’s end. Bouamira scored from about ten feet out in the centre of the floor, once again tying the game for RRC.
With 2:45 left in the half Providence got their lead back when Thompson buried a shot from right in front of the RRC bench. Thompson put his shot on net and a sprawled RRC keeper, Greg Walker, couldn’t handle it enough to keep it from trickling in. The goal gave the home crowd something to bang their drums and cheer about, and it gave PUC a 3-2 lead.
RRC’s Walker was kept busy in goal in the first half. Several balls could have given PUC a two-goal lead late in the half but Walker dove and slid to keep the Rebels in a one-goal game.
Red River College would tie it up once again at the 22 minute mark of the second half. RRC defenceman and All-Conference selection, Anderson Pereira, ran the ball down the sideline, tiptoeing the line and stopping on a dime before centring the ball to a waiting Carvalho in front of the PUC net. It was a very impressive setup and it appeared to boost the morale of a Rebels team who couldn’t seem to get in front of the match.
With 7:44 to play, Red River finally got their lead thanks in part to Abdelaziz Zerrouki who got his first goal of the game and put RRC up 4-3. But the trend of quickly-answered goals continued as just 30 seconds later, PUC tied it up when Herby Magny took a corner kick in RRC’s end and hammered it off RRC’s Castro, completely surprising the defencemen and using him as a conduit for PUC to tie the game at 4-4.
Castro would get it back for the Rebels when instead of playing a corner kick towards the PUC net, RRC sent the free ball back towards mid court and Castro hammered it past Thiellman to get RRC a 5-4 lead.
With the final minutes of the Men’s Final ticking off the clock, PUC began making desperate attempts to get a tying goal and force the game to stay alive. But with just 1:30 left, it was the captain that pounded the final nail in the coffin. Anderson Pereira found room and once again flew up the court to fire a shot high and hard, beating the entire PUC defence and put a 2 goal distance between RRC and the host Pilots.
RRC’s Alex Castro and PUC’s Herby Magny were named Players of the Game, while Anderson Pereira was named the 2017 Copa de la Paz Most Valuable Player.