TMU Bold women’s hockey team hyped up for HOCO

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By Gavin Axelrod

One of the biggest parties at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) this semester won’t take place in a residence space, campus pub or club, but rather in a hockey arena. 

The TMU Bold women’s hockey team hosts the Concordia Stingers—U Sports’ reigning national champions—Thursday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC). If playing the defending champs wasn’t enough of a reason to get out to the MAC, it’s also TMU’s fall Homecoming (HOCO) game, which is expected to draw a large crowd. 


“The fact that they are trying to get more awareness with the students around campus is awesome and obviously we’re super excited”


“We definitely were surprised that it was us, because we normally don’t get that many fans to begin with,” said Rams veteran Olivia Giardetti. “The fact that they are trying to get more awareness with the students around campus is awesome and obviously we’re super excited.”

TMU’s last fall HOCO was in September 2019 and received rave reviews. Students decked out in blue and gold school merchandise turned out in large numbers for a pre-game tailgate at the Pitman Hall Quad before packing the MAC for the game. 

The then-Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team knocked off the Queen’s Gaels 4-1 in front of an electric crowd. Taylor Dupuis, the team’s starting goalie in the game, told The Eyeopener it blew his expectations away in a story following the event. 

TMU’s women’s hockey team is looking for a repeat performance as the spotlight shifts to their squad. 

“We do still know in the back of our minds that there’s almost a stigma around women’s hockey and our goal is to hopefully prove to everybody that shows up and does come and watch that we are competitive athletes and we can play a good game of hockey that they hopefully will have fun watching.” 


“Maybe we could have a smaller turnout because it’s a commuter school but I’m pretty much expecting it to be a pretty big turnout, just because this is the first homecoming game in a while”


The homecoming festivities will begin at Lake Devo with a pre-game tailgate party starting at 4:15 p.m. Toronto Metropolitan Students’ Union (TMSU) vice-president student life, Ozioma Molokwu, said the tailgate was planned by the students’ union in a joint effort with the school’s athletic department.

Although this year’s fall HOCO game takes place on a Thursday, she said she doesn’t see it being a problem despite the fact that many TMU students commute to campus.

“Maybe we could have a smaller turnout because it’s a commuter school but I’m pretty much expecting it to be a pretty big turnout, just because this is the first homecoming game in a while,” said Molokwu. “Students pretty much just want to be on campus as much as possible, so that wasn’t really a big concern.”

Hosting the tailgate at Lake Devo was a conscious decision. Molokwu said the tailgate in 2019—that took place at the Pitman Hall Quad—was more accessible to residence students, but moving things to Lake Devo means anyone on campus can see the festivities and be enticed to go to the game. 

Molokwu added that students should come out to the tailgate because there will be lots of opportunity to win prizes, play games, listen to great music from a DJ and to enjoy an outdoor event before the cold winter weather arrives. 

“I think us being involved in an event like this, really does speak to what we’re trying to accomplish this year, which is collaborating more with the university and just rebuilding those relationships,” said Molokwu.

Second-year Bold defender Saije Catcheway is one of many players on the team that’s gotten a boost in practice knowing the big game was right around the corner. She also didn’t shy away from the fact that she wished she’d be able to be part of the pre-game festivities. 

Initially she was excited to go out and see the people at the tailgate. However, she realized the team wouldn’t be able to go, because they’d need to be on the ice by 6 p.m. 

But beyond the expected crowd size and pre-game party at Lake Devo, TMU’s hockey homecoming is an opportunity for the university to renew its school spirit when it comes to sports. That is something that wasn’t lost on Giardetti in the lead up to the big game. 

She said because TMU is a commuter school, students want to have a shared atmosphere, whether that’s through partying, friendships or watching sports. Giardetti added that getting immersed in the school’s sports scene is a great way to do that, especially starting with Thursday’s contest against last year’s champion, Concordia. 

“Hopefully the people that do come and watch this time are going to be like ‘Oh, damn, this is pretty fun,’’’ she said. “Hopefully they like the atmosphere and they will come back for more. I think that’s the ultimate goal.” 

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