The U of T Varsity Blues men’s hockey team kept their season alive thanks to forward Ross Krieger’s overtime winner in game two of the second round of the Queen’s Cup playoffs. The Blues defeated the Lakehead Thunderwolves 3–2, forcing a winner-takes-all game three Saturday night. 

What happened

It was a tight affair in the first period. Despite both the Blues and Thunderwolves getting chances, both goaltenders Jett Alexander for the Blues and Christian Cicigoi for the Thunderwolves stopped all the shots that they faced. 

In the second period, the Blues’ first power play of the game was when Thunderwolves forward Greg Smith was called for interference. The power play was negated after defensive player Emmett Serensits took an interference penalty, leading to some four-on-four hockey. Smith’s penalty expired, putting the Thunderwolves on the powerplay, and Smith got the Thunderwolves on the board midway through the game. Just over two minutes later, Blues forward Owen Robinson’s second goal of the playoffs knotted the game 1–1. 

With the game tied going into the third period, there was a possibility that it would be the last period of hockey for the Blues this season. Early in the period, Krieger scooped the puck off an offensive zone faceoff, firing it on the net, giving the Blues a 2–1 lead. 

13 minutes into the third period, Thunderwolves defense Noah Massie went coast to coast and danced around the Blues defense tying the game 2–2. As the third period ended, the game would head to overtime. This was the first time the Blues were going into overtime in these playoffs. 

With their season on the line, the Blues had their fair share of chances and scares in overtime. Late in the frame, Nick Grima was caught pinching in the offensive zone, and the Thunderwolves could have had a breakaway, had Alexander not come out to play the puck. 

With under a minute left in the extra frame, Krieger stepped up big for the Blues, jamming the puck in for his second goal of the night, giving the Blues the 3–2 victory and keeping their season alive.