Dugas dominates as Bold top Ridgebacks

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By Sam Beaudoin

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s hockey team took to the ice Saturday afternoon for their second pre-season tilt in less than 24 hours, this time facing on the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

The contest resulted in a 3-1 victory in favour of the Bold; their first of the pre-season. 

“They’re always a physical team. They play hard, they’re well coached, they play a good tough defensive style of hockey,” said TMU head coach Johnny Duco about the Ridgebacks. “I thought they played really well tonight, they gave us all we could handle.” 

Saturday’s first period saw few scoring chances. The best opportunity of the frame came at the 6:40 mark when a two-on-one rush resulted in TMU forward Ian Martin ringing a wrist shot off the crossbar to keep the contest knotted at zero.

The intensity was on display early as both teams made sure to finish their body checks and attempt to leave a mark on their opponent. However, despite the physical play, both clubs remained disciplined with no penalties drawn through the first twenty minutes of action. 

TMU goalie Ryan Dugas was the star of the first period in his first game for the Bold, making a number of key saves and turning away all nine of the Ridgebacks shots in the opening frame. He made 28 saves in the night.

“When you’re getting shots throughout the whole game, you kinda just go into your own world,” said Dugas. “You forget about everything going on, you forget how much time’s on the clock, you’re just getting shot, shot, shot.” 

The second period got off to a dream start for the Bold as they found the back of the net twice, with the first goal coming at the 1:18 mark. TMU forward William Portokalis set up forward Cole Resnick in front of the net with a sweet dish to make it 1-0 Bold. 

Nearly nine minutes later, off an offensive turnover due to a strong forecheck from Dustin Hutton, TMU forward Holden Rogers walked in from the blue line and sniped a wrist shot top shelf to double the Bold’s lead midway through the contest. 

After a number of key saves from Dugas, the Ridgebacks found the back of the net off a nifty toe drag from Drew Toner at the 17:39 mark, cutting the Bold lead in half heading into the final 20 minutes of play.

“I thought he was fantastic, he’s been dialed in looking like that since day one of training camp, I think goaltending is a big strength of our hockey team,” said Duco. 

The Ridgebacks dominated for the majority of the third period, threatening to tie up the game in the late going. The visitors outshot the Bold 29-17 in the contest. 

But despite the pressure from Ontario Tech, the best scoring chance came from Bold forward Kyle Bollers who was denied on breakaway at the 7:20 mark of the action. 

Bollers notched an empty net goal with 30 seconds to play to seal TMU’s victory.

“Once we get into season play…there’s gonna be a lot of hard fought, close games,” said Duco. “It’s getting comfortable in these scenarios that are uncomfortable.” 

UP NEXT: The TMU Bold men’s hockey team is back in action on Sept. 22, as they travel across town to take on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at Varsity Arena. Puck-drop is set for 7 p.m.

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