On January 28, the Varsity Blues women’s hockey team faced off against the Laurier Golden Hawks for the second time this season. The first time they met, on November 17, the Blues left the ice victorious, with a 3–0 beatdown. The team continued their winning streak during the rematch, upping the count from 13 to 14 consecutive victories over the Golden Hawks in total.
The Blues snatched the lead two minutes into the first period, with forward Katy McKenna scoring. Morale was high for the Blues as they rivalled the Hawks for the puck for the rest of the first period.
The Blues continued to pull ahead in the second period, scoring two goals in four minutes. Forward Celine Frappier and defender Caroline Eagles both grabbed goals close to the middle of the period.
The Hawks played with increased desperation, hoping to change the score that echoed their previous loss. The third period got messy for both teams.
Within three minutes on the ice, Abby Howland — a Blues forward — was lying on the ice after a kerfuffle with other players and eventually got up themselves.
While Blues defender Lauren Omoto was still in the penalty box for interference, the Hawks’ Rylee Crego put one past Madeline Albert, the Blues’ goalie, 4:12 minutes into the third period. The Hawks were riding the momentum of their success, energy evident in their steps and fighting for the upper hand.
Quickly following their first goal, four minutes later, the Hawks pressed on, and forward Chloe Davidson evened out the score to 2–3. Morale was being pushed and pulled around at this point, both teams eyeing the remaining 10 minutes. The Blues tightened up their defense, supporting Albert in the net.
Natasha Athanasakos swooped in at 11:01 and snatched another goal for the Blues, once again increasing the Blues’ lead — now 4–2.
“I just came off the bench, and Sophie — number five — made just the best pass. You know, another person to rely on to make just these fantastic plays,” Athanasakos told The Varsity. She emphasized the support built into the team that lets her and other forwards go in for the kill.
At 16:36, Sophia Grawbarger nabbed another point, securing the final score of 5–2 for the Blues. The team saw their victory through until the end, playing the full 60 minutes — as Athanasakos said, they strived to fulfill.
The Blues will be pivoted up against the Guelph Gryphons on February 1, who currently sit second in the West Regular Season Ontario University Athletics rankings with a 0.652 win percentage. On November 12, the Blues lost 0–1 to the Gryphons, and the next game is a chance for the Blues to apply what they’ve been working on, as Athanasakos says, and achieve redemption.