The University of Toronto women’s hockey team defeated the Guelph Gryphons 4–0 in game three of the Ontario University Athletics semifinal advancing to the final.
“It’s been a long couple of years, especially since COVID, and I came off an injury in the first half of the season. So it’s a pretty surreal feeling,” said Blues captain Taylor Trussler who scored a hat trick in game three to secure a date with the Lakers on March 11.
Varsity Arena was rockin’ all game and Trussler got the party started with a goal at the five minute mark. Blues’ forward Sophie Grawbarger’s shot was stopped by Gryphon’s goaltender Martina Fedel and Trussler pounced on the rebound to give the Blues a 1–0 lead. The Blues dominated the first period outshooting the Gryphons 14–3 and leading 1–0 after the opening frame.
The Blues had been playing ‘Blues Hockey’ all game and they were rewarded for it in the second period. Blues forward Aili McKewon had a burst of speed from the Blues blueline into the Gryphons’ zone before feeding forward Katy McKenna. McKenna controlled the puck and set up centre Lauren MacDonnell for the wrist shot that beat Fedel and blew the roof off of Varsity Arena.
One minute later, Trussler scored her second goal of the night after receiving a pass from Grawbarger in front of the Gryphons’ net. The Blues led 3–0 going into the third period with a McCaw Cup birth on the line.
Two and a half minutes into the third period, Trussler continued her storybook night. The Blues were on the powerplay; Blues defender Olivia Hilton fed Trussler in front of the net to complete the hat trick for the Blues captain.
It’s a hat trick for Taylor Trussler!! 4-0 Blues pic.twitter.com/fOc76FPWjJ
— Cole Hayes (@cole__hayes) March 5, 2023
“A big moment — big game… your best players gotta be your best players when it counts and our whole leadership group really stepped up today and weren’t gonna be outworked,” said Head Coach Vicky Sunohara on Trussler and the Blues’ performance.
The Blues continued to shut down the Gryphons for the rest of the game while Fryer stopped all 12 shots she faced en route to winning the winner-take-all game three.
“We win as a team, we lose as a team so I’m just happy that we get to experience the McCaw Cup together,” Trussler said.
The Blues will take on the Nipissing Lakers in the McCaw Cup final on March 11 at Varsity Arena. Previously, the Lakers have beaten the Blues twice in February. If the Blues win the McCaw Cup final, it would be the first time they’ve done so since 2020.