Third period comeback falls short for men’s hockey team, TMU drops to 8-3

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By Robert Vona

A third period comeback from the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s hockey team came up short on Friday night in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Lakehead University Thunderwolves. 

The game got off to a fiery start that saw Thunderwolves forward Spencer Blackwell receive a game misconduct for a cross-check from behind, sending the Bold into their first powerplay of the game. 

“I think it started at the end of the second period,” said Bold head coach Johnny Duco about his team’s comeback effort. “We had about three or four shifts that we were able to string together and start to gather some momentum.”

The Bold failed to capitalize on the powerplay, registering three shots on the man advantage, including one from the slot that was kicked away by Lakehead goaltender Max Wright.

The intensity picked up as both teams traded scoring chances, highlighted by a breakaway attempt by the Thunderwolves that was stopped by a toe save from Bold goalie Kai Edmonds. 

Six minutes after the teams received off-setting penalties, the Thunderwolves capitalized on a two-on-one. A cross-ice pass from Griffen Fox resulted in a goal for Kyler Auger and the Thunderwolves took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. 

“For whatever reason lately we’ve been sitting back in the first period at home,” said Bold forward Chris Playfair. “We need to get pucks in, get on the forecheck right away and start dictating the pace.”

The Thunderwolves came out firing in the second period as Ben Badalamenti netted a backdoor snap-shot to give the visitors a 2-0 lead three minutes into the second frame.

After escaping a scramble in front of the net, the Bold brought out the penalty killing unit as defenceman Aaron Hyman received a charging penalty. 

A flurry of saves from Edmonds helped the Bold kill the powerplay and keep the team at a two goal deficit.

The penalty kill sparked the Bold as they had a collection of chances in front of the net that were stopped by a sprawling Wright for the Thunderwolves, sending the game to the second intermission. 

A goal by Stephen Fox at the halfway mark of the period opened the frame, scoring to give the Thunderwolves a 3-0 lead.  

The Bold followed up with a pair of goals in under a minute from forwards Ryan Wells and Jesse Barwell. TMU then found themselves trailing by one with over seven minutes to go. 

An Elijah Roberts rush sprung Playfair into the slot as he found the back of the net to tie it at three apiece, sending the game into overtime.

After Edmonds slammed the door shut yet again on a breakaway attempt, the Thunderwolves finally got the best of the goaltender as the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) rookie goal-scoring leader Josh Van Unen netted his sixth goal of the year to seal the deal for the visiting Thunderwolves.

“It’s tough, obviously we want two points anytime we play, especially at home,” said Edmonds following his first loss of the season. 

The Bold drop their second game in a row and fall to 8-3. 

“I didn’t love our game, I thought we played ten minutes of hockey the way we’re capable of,” said Duco. “We were able to come back and salvage a point but I’m really disappointed in the other 50 minutes and the lack of execution.”

UP NEXT: TMU will head to Waterloo as they take on the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Saturday night at 7 p.m. 

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