The VCU Rams claimed the first-ever Capital Cup Classic trophy after winning Friday night’s game 6-4.Photo by John Powell

The stage was set.

More than 150 fans piled into the bleachers and two teams, the Rams and the Patriots, were ready to compete in the inaugural Capital Cup challenge in Prince William.

The cup was to serve as the equivalent to the Little Brown Jug, fought for between Minnesota and Michigan, in one of the oldest rivalries in college football. It was to promote a quality match between two teams that seemingly always produce close, hard-fought performances.

“We play [VCU] once a year and it has always been a one or two goal game,” said Steve Hyjek, the ice hockey team’s coach for the last two seasons. “They seemed like a logical choice, so we decided to go with it.”

Hyjek and his team put together the event, inviting the Rams into the Prince William Ice Center to kick off the inaugural match.

VCU came out strong, jumping ahead 4-2 after just one period.

Mason, however, responded with a dominating second period performance and tied the game just before the zamboni took the ice to prepare for the final 20 minutes.

“We had them on their heels heading into the final period,” Hyjek said. “We got a couple of good shots but couldn’t put the puck in the net.”

The Rams responded, netting two goals in the final period to win the match and take home the first ever Capital Cup.