By Dexter LeRuez
The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold women’s hockey team took a crucial 2-1 victory over the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Saturday night.
Saturday’s win is the second in a row for the Bold after beating the York Lions on Friday night. This is the first time all season the Bold have won consecutive games.
“We knew it was a big six points that were on the table for us,” said Bold head coach Lisa Haley. “There are lots of ways to win a hockey game, sometimes it’s gotta be ugly and that’s what tonight was.”
The Bold needed to play scrappy and come from behind to win on Saturday. Laurier took the lead halfway through the first period courtesy of fourth-year Chloe Davidson.
However, an ounce of hope was found in the second period when a breakaway goal from veteran forward Olivia Giardetti tied the game up at one apiece.
The goal was Giardetti’s first point since Nov. 5, when she sustained an injury that kept her out for several weeks. Saturday’s matchup was just her second game back after the injury.
“I think yesterday it was great to see her back,” said Haley. “Today it felt like her performance was there and she had her hands back. I mean she really buried that goal and that’s the Giardetti we know from pre-injury.”
The Bold continued their strong second period by allowing zero shots on net for the first ten minutes of the frame. In addition, TMU only allowed shots on goal after Megan Breen was called for hooking.
It wouldn’t take long after Breen’s hooking call for the Golden Hawks to return the favour. On another Bold breakaway, Laurier’s Riley Crego got called for tripping. But the Bold failed to capitalize on the powerplay, or an additional advantage that came after Laurier’s Claire Robinson was called for holding later in the period.
On the other side of special teams, the Bold’s penalty kill kept them in the game, TMU’s players were called for four penalties, however they let up zero goals when down a player.
“I think there were a lot of big blocks when we needed it, but a lot of really good reads as well,” said Haley. “We got some key clears and I felt like the chemistry within that PK group was really solid.”
Although the score was tied when the third period started, the Golden Hawks had clearly taken the momentum, taking six shots on net in the frame before the Bold could even register one.
When the Bold finally managed a shot on net they made it count—TMU’s captain Madison Lalonde scored on an odd-man rush with the help of Emily Baxter to give the Bold their first lead of the night.
“Baxter made a beautiful pass starting from Dani [Fox’s] breakup and I was just trying to get something on it,” said Lalonde. “I haven’t had a lot of puck luck and I was completely shocked when it went in the back of the net.”
Lalonde’s goal ended up being the game winner and the Bold took their second-straight game in a row.
The Bold have higher aspirations as they take on the Queen’s University Golden Gaels at home on Friday before heading to Kingston to face them again on Saturday .
The Gaels are neck-and-neck with TMU in the standings. With two winnable games to finish off the semester, it isn’t out of the question for the Bold to win four games straight following a losing streak of the same number.
“That’s exactly how we want to go out because we are climbing behind them in the standings,” said Lalonde. “We’re definitely going in prepared because we’re not playing a home-and-home. We’re playing a home-and-away.”
“We have to be ready for Saturday and bounce back from our home game on Friday night,” Lalonde added.
UP NEXT: The Bold host the Queen’s University Golden Gaels at the MAC on Dec. 2. Puck-drop is set for 6 p.m.