Women’s hockey defeat Ryerson, men lose overtime affair against Western

Both teams gave up two-goal leads, but women held off Ryerson’s momentum
The Blues fought hard against their opponents, with the women emerging victorious. COURTESY OF VARSITY BLUES ATHLETICS
The Blues fought hard against their opponents, with the women emerging victorious. COURTESY OF VARSITY BLUES ATHLETICS

Women’s game

The Varsity Blues women’s team won in a high-scoring affair against the Ryerson University Rams this Thursday with an early 11:00 am start time.

Toronto opened the scoring with a little over six minutes left in the first period, after captain Stephanie Ayres was tied up in the faceoff circle. They managed to regain possession, deke past the Ryerson defender, and backhand it into the back of the net. Shortly after, Taylor Trussler picked the pocket of the Ryerson defender attempting to break out of the zone, skated to the high slot, and let go a shot that would deflect off the pants of Cristine Chao for the 2–0 goal.

However, Ryerson would respond with two quick goals of their own. The first was a powerplay goal from Lauren Nicholson, and soon after, Nicholson found herself alone on a breakaway, and made a nice forehand-to-backhand move to put it past Blues goalie Erica Fryer.

Toronto stayed composed, and after a great forecheck to keep the puck in the Ryerson zone, they were able to create a chance in front of the net, which was put home after Laura Ellis shot a puck that trickled past the Rams’ goalie. The Blues’ excellent forechecking would pay off again, as Gabrielle De Serres created a turnover right in front of the Rams’ net and found her sister Mathilde De Serres, who sniped it into the back of the net to give Toronto another two-goal lead.

Keeping their momentum going in the third period, Toronto scored just eight seconds in, with Ayres scoring her second goal of the game. Ryerson wasn’t ready to give up, and only a few minutes later they were able to score off a rather innocent-looking shot that was tipped in front of the net.

Afterward, Nicholson again found herself with tons of space in front of the net and put it past Fryer to cut Toronto’s lead to just one and give herself the hat trick.

However, Ryerson was not able to channel this momentum into another goal, and the De Serres sisters scored Toronto’s final goal, with Gabrielle making some nice moves to get the puck on net, and Mathilde picking up the rebound, giving her sister a no-look pass to ice the game for the Blues.

Toronto’s next home game will be against Western on Friday, January 31 at 7:00 pm.

SEYRAN MAMMADOV/VARSITY BLUES

Men’s game

The Varsity Blues men’s hockey team lost in a 3–2 decision in overtime on Wednesday to the University of Western Ontario Western Mustangs.

The Blues opened up the scoring when a turnover from the Western defense found the stick of Kevin Lavoie behind the net, who then passed to Ross Krieger for the 1–0 goal at the 9:55-minute mark of the first period.

Early in the second period, the Blues’ leading point-getter David Thomson had control of the puck at the half-wall of the Mustangs’ zone. He made an excellent stretch pass across the ice to find Oliver Benwell in the slot, who made a quick move and sniped the puck bottom corner to give the Blues a 2–0 lead.

The Blues would go into the third period with the lead, with goaltender Alex Bishop making some key saves to keep the Blues up a pair. However, the Blues were much less fortunate in the third period.

Midway through the frame, the Mustangs were able to create a great chance with three men entering the zone. The initial cross-ice one-timer was saved by Bishop, but Toronto’s back checkers were not able to get back in time to prevent Western’s Kenny Huether from tapping in the rebound.

Then, in the dying seconds of the period, and with their goalie pulled, Western created a scramble in front of the net. The Blues were unable to cover it or clear the puck out of the crease, as Stephen Desrocher tied the game with just eight seconds remaining.

Western carried this momentum into overtime, with Franco Sproviero ripping a shot from the high slot into the back of the net to give Western the come-from-behind victory. Alex Bishop made 37 saves, but it was ultimately not enough to prevent the Mustangs’ onslaught in the third period and overtime.

The Blues’ next home game will be against the University of Windsor Lancers on Saturday, February 1 at 7:00 pm.

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