By Mitchell Fox
It was an underwhelming afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) for the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s hockey team Saturday, as an onslaught of scoring chances was not enough to take down the York Lions.
Though the Bold won the shots battle 49-35, the Lions had the upper hand in other areas, wearing the Bold down physically and of course, coming away with a 4-3 victory.
Bold head coach Johnny Duco attributed the result to a lack of execution.
“You put up as many shots as we did, you should be able to find ways to score more goals,” said Duco. “Obviously the guys who continue to get these opportunities are not executing to the level we need them to.”
Duco said the squad needs to fix some trends they are seeing in both practices and games.
“We continue to miss the net, miss empty nets, shoot it in the goalie’s stomach,” he said.
After the Lions took a 4-2 lead into the third period, Connor Bowie got the Bold back within one, but TMU struggled to beat Lions goaltender Carter Serhyenko.
Bowie said the team played better than they did against the Windsor Lancers earlier in the week, but it was not enough.
“I thought we had a lot of energy at least, we had a lot of jump. But obviously we weren’t capitalizing on our chances,” he said. “That’s how hockey goes sometimes. That was the story tonight.”
The Bold were without their leading scorer Kyle Bollers, who leads the OUA in scoring and is currently at the Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU) World University Winter Games, alongside starting goaltender Kai Edmonds.
“You can look at not having a guy like Bollers, the leading scorer in the country, but [at the] end of the day we’re a team and we need other guys to step up,” said Duco.
Duco said that he didn’t think the problem was a lack of effort, but rather not finishing “unbelievable opportunities.”
“I think the guys care and they’re working at it,” Duco said. “But we get out there, we’re just not sharp, we’re not dialled in.”
The Bold are now 13-7 on the year and only have two more games left on home ice for the rest of the regular season. They’ll host the Windsor Lancers on Jan. 20 before playing four of their final six regular-season games on the road.
Duco said the team needs to get back to playing “defence first.” He added defence can go a long way in creating offence, something that was seen in Elijah Roberts’ goal in the first period, which came on a four-on-one rush created off of a turnover.
“You can typically roll a scoring chance back to like a really good defensive play that made it happen,” he said. “We just didn’t have enough of those.”
Duco said the team needs to step up its game to reverse what’s now a two-game losing streak.
“Some things are gonna have to change or we’re going to be continuing to leave here disappointed,” said Duco.
UP NEXT: The Bold head to Thompson Arena for a 7 p.m. puck-drop with the Western Mustangs on Jan. 19. They will play in TMU’s Winter Homecoming game the next day against the Windsor Lancers.