A slow start doomed the Varsity Blues women’s hockey team on November 27 at Varsity Arena. Coming off two consecutive wins, the Blues (6–5–0) hoped to end their fall semester on a high note as they hosted the Queen’s University Gaels.
The home team found themselves down 2–0 less than six minutes in. The Gaels (6–5–0) scored their first shot of the game during a 2-on-1 rush, when Queen’s forward Megan Farrell fired the puck under the glove hand of Toronto goaltender Hailey Farrelly.
A few minutes later, Kaylie Dennis made the score 2–0 when she beat Farrelly from the top of the crease on a rebound at 5:27. The Blues hadn’t yet registered a shot on net.
Two consecutive penalties in the first frame limited the Blues’ ability to respond. Toronto netminder Farrelly stood tall on the ensuing powerplays and made an excellent glove save in the last minute of the period to limit the Gaels’ lead to two.
While the Blues put in a stronger effort in the second period, the home team really came alive in the third. After a sequence of chances, the Blues finally got on the board in the final minutes when Julia Szulewska scored to make it 2–1.
Blues head coach Vicky Sunohara called a timeout at 18:23 in anticipation of a last-ditch effort to tie the game. The Blues pulled their goalie; with an extra attacker on the ice, they threw everything they had at Gaels netminder Stephanie Pascal but couldn’t beat her. The Gaels sealed their 3–1 victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
The winter portion of the Blues’ 2016–2017 schedule begins with three road games in southern Ontario. The women’s hockey team will then return to Varsity Arena on January 14 to take on the York University Lions.
The Blues travel to Windsor next to face off against the University of Windsor Lancers on January 4, 2017.