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Ontario Tech Ridgebacks player Alex Drover shoots the puck as a TMU Bold player Ian Martin falls down in front of him
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Bold go down in shootouts in first pre-season tune-up

By Harsh Kumar

The TMU Bold men’s hockey team made a return to the ice for the first time to open up their 2023-2024 season in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Ontario Tech University Ridgebacks Thursday afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC). 

While the Bold got off to a hot start, penalty troubles and great goaltending from Ontario Tech kept the game within arms reach.  

“Credit to Ontario Tech; they really stuck with it and even when we were carrying the play, they limited the high-danger chances we got,” said Bold head coach Johnny Duco.

Despite it being the opening pre-season matchup, it was an action-packed first period filled with physicality from both sides. The Bold took three penalties in the first period, but the Ridgebacks only capitalized on the first one—with a goal from third-year Ridgebacks forward James White. However, the Bold’s offence remained persistent throughout the period as they ended the first 20 minutes leading 2-1 with goals from first-year defenceman Jaden Raad and third-year forward Kyle Bollers.

The second period began with four-on-four hockey as third-year Bold forward Elijah Roberts and Ridgebacks fourth-year forward Sean Ross watched from the penalty box.

The physicality continued as the Ridgebacks looked to tie the game, but second-year goalie Kai Edmonds and the Bold held them off. Yet, with less than nine minutes left in the second period, the Bold switched to second-year goalie Ryan Dugas.

“We had made a decision [to switch goalies] because we play only one game this week [and] we wanted to get both goalies in,” said Duco.

Ontario Tech continued to push for the tying goal and finally broke through when first-year Ridgebacks forward Alex Drover scored off a rebound to tie the game late in the second. 

The third period began with the game tied at two-a-piece. The Ridgebacks went on the power play when second-year Bold forward Connor Bowie was sent to the penalty box with just over a minute played in the period. Both teams continued to trade scoring chances.

With 13 and a half minutes left in the third, the Bold went on a power play but were unable to capitalize on the man advantage. TMU kept the offensive pressure up as they were looking for the winning goal.

“We were probably the better team and we probably deserved a better fate,” said  Duco. “When you don’t capitalize on the chances that you get, you give teams an opportunity to kind of hang around.”

The score remained tied at the end of regulation and the two sides needed overtime to settle the difference. The Bold and Ridgebacks both traded scoring chances throughout the overtime period. However, both goalies stood tall as overtime didn’t end up deciding anything, resulting in a shootout.

It took multiple shootout attempts from both teams before third-year forward Cullen McLean ended the game and won it for the Ridgebacks. 

“For us it’s a learning experience. I think there’s some really good teachable moments,” said Duco. 

UP NEXT: The Bold continue their pre-season in their Homecoming game against the McGill Redbirds on Friday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m.

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