When the final buzzer sounded in the women’s ice hockey game on Saturday, it ended not only the game, but the 46 game winning streak of our reigning OUA and CIS champs. The 1-0 nail biter on home turf to the undefeated Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (6-0-0) came two years to the day after their last OUA loss, a 3-2 defeat to the Guelph Gryphons.
With time winding down in the third period the women pressed aggressively, bombarding their opponents’ net with shots as they had all game, but somehow they couldn’t drive the puck past the line.
The game’s lone goal came halfway through the second period. With Laurier pressing on a five on three, U of T (5-1-0) stole the puck but the Golden Hawks goalkeeper robbed Toronto’s Jill Savin on a top-shelf slap shot from the blue line. On the next play, Laurier’s Chrissie Thompson scored a breakaway goal.
The score did not do justice to the clear domination exhibited by the Blues throughout the game.
“We had over 40 shots, but it wasn’t smart shooting,” said head coach Karen Hughes. Laurier had only 12 shots.
“We can’t be 0-15 on the power play and expect to win,” she added.
Many shots were taken from the blue line without much traffic in front of the net, leaving a clear view for Laurier’s goaltender. When U of T finally did get the puck close, most of the shots went straight into the goalie’s pads.
“We are not arrogant,” said Hughes, countering suggestions that the team had become complacent with its win streak. “It’s good to learn losing because it shows that we need to come to play.”
She doesn’t expect the loss to be too much of a setback.
“Our strength is our depth,” explained Hughes. “We are not about having one star player; the effort comes from all three lines.”
Looking ahead, the Blues take on Guelph (5-1-0) this Saturday in the first of a four game road trip. U of T destroyed them 10-0 in their last meeting.
Upon returning home the Blues will play an exhibition game against Harvard on December 1 at 4 p.m.