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Cure Cancer Classic: ‘Most electric event ever’

Commerce shutout Engineering in annual inter-faculty hockey game



One of the year’s most anticipated—and rowdy—hockey games took to the ice this weekend. 


On March 2, Cure Cancer Classic (CCC) put on the annual Commerce vs. Engineering (Com-Eng) rivalry hockey game at the Leon’s Centre. The CCC is a student-run, not-for-profit initiative that’s raised over $1 million for cancer research over the past 17 years. 


The Cure Cancer Classic initiative, created in the Smith School of Business COMM 351: Leadership and Organisational Behaviour class, dates back to 2005. Since then, the club has created multiple different fundraising events to raise money for cancer research. This fall, the team put on a golf tournament open to all students, faculty, and alumni where they fundraised $50,000. 


In 2019, the Canadian Cancer Society helped Cure Cancer Classic partner up with Annie Huang’s Brain Cancer Research Lab at Sick Kids Hospital. The club also secured a government grant to match each one of the CCC’s yearly donations, effectively doubling their impact. 


The CCC team is composed of 33 Engineering and Commerce students who have worked tirelessly all year to put on this highly anticipated event. Within a week of the Com-Eng game ticket release, the game sold out. 


As the big day drew closer, a sense of panic began to set in among those who hadn’t secured their ticket in time, with some students frantically searching for anyone who might have a spare to sell. 


“There was so much hype built around the game this year,” Ben Schwartz, Comm ’25, a member of the CCC executive team, said in an interview with The Journal.

 

On Monday, Feb. 27, the Cure Cancer Classic hosted a press conference at Goodes Hall, where both teams engaged in some friendly jabs and teasing, all in the name of the good old fashioned inter-faculty rivalry. Additionally, the CCC promoted pre-game festivities at The Canteen and The Mansion for both Engineering and Commerce fans. 


By 7 p.m., the Leon’s Centre was packed to the brim with purple Eng jackets and Smith School of Business crewnecks. Alumni were spotted repping their vintage Queen’s faculty jackets in the booths overlooking the rink. 


Despite their different areas of studies, everyone was united with their love for Queen’s, a desire to see their team come out on top, and the CCC’s mission. 


“The packed stadium gives a feeling like none other; it’s goosebumps every time,” Schwartz said.  


“Even if it’s filled with people who are chanting they don’t like my program very much, it doesn’t matter. It’s just so surreal to know every single person in the seat is making a difference.”


The first period started off at a leisurely pace, but the Under-7 Kingston hockey “Timbits” revved things up during an intermission performance before the second period. The pint-sized players put on a show for the crowd as members of the Kingston Frontenacs joined them. 


Commerce opened the scoring with a goal during the second period. Before Engineering could catch their breath, Josh Kudo scored another goal for Team Commerce.


With each passing minute, Commerce tightened their grip on the lead, ultimately pulling ahead with another goal to make it 3-0. Team Engineering visibly struggled to keep up with their opposition’s relentless pace. 


The highlight of the game came right at the end of the third period when Ben Fitzpatrick made a bold move and slammed the puck into the net, scoring a goal for Commerce with only one second left on the clock. 


As Engineers shuffled out of the stadium quickly with their heads held high, the Commerce side roared with excitement at the 4-0 scoreboard. The game, filled with twists, turns, and witty chants from both sides of the crowd, will be one to remember. For the Commerce team, it was a sweet taste of success they will undoubtedly savour for a long time.


“I think after my birth, this is probably the second largest life-defining moment,” player Connell Cusinato, Comm ’25, told The Journal in a post-game interview. 


After their hard-fought victory on the ice, the Commerce team soaked up every last drop of the glory that came along with winning the title. The team had a glamorous photoshoot in which each player posed with the trophy, grinning from ear-to-ear while the camera clicked away. 


Ryan Kidd, Comm ’26, has experience playing in provincial Junior hockey leagues, but told The Journal the Commerce vs. Engineering game was easily his favourite game yet.


“That was the most electric event I have ever been to. Just such a great crowd, such a great event, cheers to all the people that made this happen at the CCC.”


Regardless of outcome, everyone knows the event is really about coming together to raise money and awareness about a cause that has touched so many lives.


“We raised over $450,000 [for] the Canadian Cancer Society […] and we’ve surpassed any annual donation total that CCC has raised in previous years,” CCC Co-Chair Amy Janes told 

The Journal.


“It’s really a testament to how hard the team worked this year. So, I’m proud of everyone that’s been a part of it.”


Janes worked alongside Co-Chair Robert Hume to organize the Com-Eng game. Earlier in the night, they presented the $450,000 check to the ever-gracious Canadian Cancer Society.


“As much as we’re having an incredible game, and it’s really fun, it’s for a great cause and a cause that affects us all,” Janes said.


This article was originally written by Lilly Coote at The Queen's Journal and posted on March 10, 2023. You can find the original article here.

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