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A TMU Bold women's hockey player battles with an opponent in front of the net
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TMU Bold women’s hockey stung by Concordia Stingers in homecoming defeat

By Mikayla Guarasci

It was a homecoming game to remember at the Mattamy Athletic Center (MAC) on Sept. 15. 

The reigning U Sports national champions, the Concordia Stingers, were in town to take on the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold women’s hockey team in a non-conference pre-season game. TMU fell 3-2, but the team was proud of its efforts in front of a packed crowd. 

“A lot of women in sport don’t get opportunities like [homecoming],” said TMU rookie Britni Yammine. “We were definitely all happy, [there were] lots of smiles before the game.” 

The Bold gave fans something to cheer for in the first period when forward Erika Crouse capitalized on the powerplay, giving the team a 1-0 lead. For Crouse, scoring the first goal for the newly branded TMU Bold was “an amazing feeling.” She also mentioned that it was really nice to have a big crowd supporting women’s sports. 

The teams left the ice after the first period with TMU ahead by one. Concordia outshot the home team shots 13-7 in the frame. TMU’s goalie Jayden Lawson kept her team ahead with saves in big moments. 

The Stingers went to work on the powerplay in the second period with Bold defender Lauren McEachen in the penalty box. Concordia’s Zoe Thibault tied things up just 30 seconds into the power play.

Concordia wasn’t there. After a misplay in front of the Bold net, Rosalie Begin-Cyr got a stick on the puck and directed it past Lawson. Courtney Rice came out of the corner minutes later and snuck the puck into TMU’s net putting the visitors up 3-1.

Just over halfway through the second period, TMU forward Olivia Giardetti burst into the Concordia zone and was taken down by the defenders leading to a penalty. During the advantage, Yammine got an opportunity close to the net and buried it top shelf to bring the Bold back within one. 

Yammine said “it was definitely a memorable moment” as her family and friends were in the stands for the game. Before the second period, Yammine mentioned to a teammate that she felt that she was going to score a goal in tonight’s game. 

Concordia led 3-2 with 24 shots to TMU’s 13 after two periods of play. 

Things heated up in the third period with both teams looking to score. Even with the time spent on special teams, neither side managed to put another in the back of the net. 

Lawson made 33 saves for TMU while on the other side Alice Philbert stopped 17 of 19 shots for Concordia in the win.

TMU head coach Lisa Haley gave credit to the fans, saying the atmosphere Thursday night  “was second to none” and that it “elevated [her] players.” Haley was named the first coach in program history in 2011 and spoke about the progress the team has made following the game. 

“Starting 11 years ago, when we went 1-22-1 to now push the defending national champions the way that we did today,” said Haley. “There’s definitely a lot to be proud about.” 

Haley, a Concordia grad, commended the Stingers on their game. Particularly their puck movement. 

The Bold women’s hockey team will have more exhibition games to prepare for their first regular season game on Oct. 20. They’ll welcome St. Francis Xavier University to the MAC next week. 

“It’s definitely different than what I used to play in juniors. I’ve just got to keep pushing,” added Yammine when reflecting on her first OUA game and looking ahead to the season.

UP NEXT: TMU will play St. Francis Xavier on Sept. 24 at the MAC in more preseason action.

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