The University of Toronto women’s hockey team scored two goals in the second period of their February 8 game to beat the Laurentian University Voyageurs 2–0 and clinch first place in the Ontario University Athletics standings.
The win was extra special for the Blues, as they celebrated graduating seniors Breanna Berndsen, Shaelynn Waite, Mathilde De Serres, Jana Headrick, Stephanie Ayres, Jessica Robichaud, and Cristine Chao in a pregame ceremony. The departure of the seven talented veterans will leave big holes for players like rookie up-and-comer Natasha Athanasakos, second-year standout Taylor Trussler, and third-year stars Louie Bieman and Laura Ellis to fill.
Toronto and Laurentian were neck in neck for most of the game. Madeline Albert shone in the net, thwarting numerous attacks from the Voyageurs. Rookie forwards Juliette Blais-Savoie and Lauren Macdonnell did well to challenge the Laurentian goalie, but the first period ended in a 0–0 tie.
The Blues found their offensive spark in the second period when Gabrielle De Serres broke the deadlock with a fantastic finish off of an assist from her sister Mathilde. Invigorated by the scoring, Taylor Trussler rocketed a backhand past the Voyageur goalie not even a minute later. Throughout the offensive flurry the Blues were unable to score again.
Despite a fast-paced third period, neither team was able to find the back of the net. Albert did well to block numerous Laurentian shots, and the defensive combination of Chao and Headrick broke up any dangerous plays as soon as they occurred.
With the win, Toronto guaranteed themselves the top spot of the league, and a first round playoff spot against the still-to-be-determined eighth-place team. Toronto will play their final game of the regular season on the road on February 14, when they head to London, Ontario to play the Western University Western Mustangs.