TMU drops pre-season finale to University of New Brunswick

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By Sam Beaudoin

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) men’s hockey team took the ice on Saturday afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) against the University of New Brunswick (UNB) for their final tune up before the regular season.

The rematch of last season’s U Cup quarter-finals resulted in a 3-1 victory in favour of UNB.

“It’s a heated battle, we’re rivals even though we’re from across the country,” said head coach Johnny Duco. “I’m really proud of the way our guys stuck together, we had each other’s back, that’s what a family does.”

The first twenty minutes of play were fairly even with both teams getting their fair share of scoring opportunities, including numerous two-on-one chances. The scoreboard remained deadlocked at zeros with UNB outshooting the Bold 9-8 through the first period. 

The emotions carried over from Friday night, as the physical tone was set early. Two minutes in, Bold defenceman Elijah Roberts and Reds forward Isaac Nurse were assessed off-setting minor penalties for a scrum after the whistle.

The physicality resulted in key players being forced to leave the game. At the 0:37 mark of the first period, Bold forward Jesse Barwell headed for the tunnel with a leg injury and did not return. The nine minute mark saw UNB starting goaltender Griffen Outhouse forced to leave due to injury, smashing his stick as he departed the ice.

“He’ll be fine, more of a leg contusion,” said Duco of Barwell’s injury. “Luckily we don’t play next weekend, he’ll have some time to recover and get himself healthy.”

The pace of play sped up immensely in the second frame as both teams were able to find the back of the net.

TMU opened the scoring at the 8:16 mark. In the dying seconds of a man advantage, defenceman Aaron Hyman ripped a shot that found its way through numerous bodies in front of the net and put the Bold up 1-0.

Momentum quickly swung in the frame when Hyman was assessed a double minor for spearing, that sent UNB to the powerplay for four minutes. On the powerplay, Michael Petizian’s wrister from the blue line at the 12:33 mark beat Bold goaltender Garrett Forrest to even the game at one a piece. 

Nearly three minutes later, a costly turnover at the blue line on the TMU powerplay led to an odd man rush for the Reds, which resulted in a shorthanded goal to put UNB up late in the frame.

UNB wasn’t finished yet and with 43 seconds left to play in the second period, forward Connor Hall wristed one from above the faceoff circle which found the back of the net, doubling the Reds lead heading into the final twenty minutes. 

The third period remained physical with a handful of penalties being dealt out, including two game misconducts handed out in the second half of the period.

“It was a chippy one, kind of expected that second time around playing these guys,” said Hyman. “Lot of bad blood, a lot of tension between both sides and it came out on the ice.” 

The period saw very minimal five-on-five play and despite this both teams remained off the scoresheet. 

“That’s the level we need to stay at now,” said Duco. “I’m pretty confident if we play like that week in and week out, we’re gonna have a lot of success in the [Ontario University Athletics conference].

UP NEXT: TMU opens its regular season on the road against the York Lions on Oct. 14. Puck-drop is set for 7:15. 

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