Toronto Metropolitan University's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1967

TMU men's hockey player Kyle Bollers skates on a breakaway with the York Lions bench looking on
All Recaps Sports

Bold win ‘Bollers Bowl’ by breaking down York

By Alex Wauthy

It was a family affair at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Nov. 4 as Kyle Bollers and the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s hockey team took on his father and the York Lions, where TMU won 5-2. 

Cyril Bollers—Kyle’s father—is an assistant coach for the visiting Lions, making the game a bit more personal as the Bold returned to home ice for the first time since early October. 

“He coached me in summer hockey and for a lot of my life,” Bold third-year forward Elijah Roberts said. “This is one we wanted for sure. We didn’t want to hear it from [Kyle’s] Dad for the next year, so it’s definitely a little bit of motivation going in.” 

Before today’s game, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced that neck guards are now mandatory in men’s hockey. The mandate comes following the tragic death of former NHL player Adam Johnson, who passed away due to an accidental skate to the neck. 

“What happened with Adam Johnson is very sad—a freak accident,” Roberts said. “I mean, every time we step out onto the ice, we have knives on our skates and axes in our hands so it’s pretty dangerous every time we play. I think it’s great they took the initiative to wear neck guards to try to keep everyone safe.” 

In the game, the Bold defeated the Lions 5-2 in the matinee at the MAC after controlling the pace of play through its entirety. TMU held York to just five shots in the final 40 minutes of action, bouncing back in a big way after a two-game losing skid with losses to the Queen’s Gaels and Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.

“Being back at home really helped the boys,” said Bold second-year forward Ian Martin. “I think we knew losing the last two that this was a must-win for us, so it was good for the chemistry.”

“I’m going to get back in the room and text his Dad and rub it in a little bit”

During the opening period, fifth-year York forward Alex Uryga was called for hooking after losing a puck battle on TMU’s end resulting in a TMU power play.

With 30 seconds left in the power play, third-year defenceman Ryan Wells rifled a pass from the blue line to second-year forward Will Portokalis. He fired a quick slap pass to Martin at the front of the net who then tipped the puck into the Lions cage. Martin’s first of the season put the Bold up 1-0, tilting the momentum in their favour. 

“We take a lot of pride in not losing two in a row, so when we do, it’s a tough pill to swallow,” said Bold head coach Johnny Duco. “But you certainly want to protect home ice and not lose three in a row.” 

While York was hemmed in their own zone for most of the time remaining in the opening frame, a neutral zone turnover sprung Lions second-year forward Brodie McDougall and first-year forward Jacob Vreugdenhil on a two-on-one.

McDougall fed Vreugdenhil, who deked second-year goaltender Kai Edmonds and slid the puck into the net, knotting the game at one. 

“We learned a tough lesson down at [Wilfrid] Laurier [on] Thursday night. It seemed like deja vu where we outshoot them by a large margin and suddenly you are in a tie or one-goal hockey game,” said Duco. “More of my message [tonight] was, ‘the time is now.’ We got to find a way to take over this hockey game and not wait until the third period.” 

  • TMU Bold men's hockey player Kyle Bollers walks on the ice at the Mattamy Athletic Centre
  • TMU Bold men's hockey player Chris Playfair fights for the puck
  • Members of the TMU Bold men's hockey team on the ice at the Mattamy Athletic Centre
  • TMU Bold men's hockey player Elijah Roberts is bodied against the boards
  • Members of the TMU Bold and York Lions men's hockey team get into a collision on the ice
  • TMU Bold men's hockey player Ian Martin heads to the locker room

The Bold hemmed in the Lions once again to open the second. York finally cracked under the intense pressure as Bold third-year forward Kevin Gursoy faked a toe drag and dropped a pass back to fourth-year defenceman Cole Cameron, who came streaking in behind.

The Guelph, Ont. product picked up the puck and ripped a shot past second-year Lions netminder Carter Serhyenko for his first of the season, making it 2-1 for TMU. Bollers picked up an assist on the play. 

“[There’s] lots on the line with Bollers’ dad on the other team and Dan Poliziani, their other assistant coach, is a former [Bold] player,” Duco said. “A lot of connections over there—a cross-town rival, another Toronto school, easy to get up for it—you don’t want to lose to the other Toronto schools.” 

The Lions went without a shot until 6:51 into the second until second-year forward Thomas Lacombe put a shot on net. While the Bold thought Edmonds saved it, the puck squeaked through him, resting just in front of the red line.

With Edmonds outside the blue paint and no defender within a stick’s reach, Lions third-year forward Owen Gilhula jumped on the puck, tapping it into the gaping net. 

“This is one we wanted for sure. We didn’t want to hear it from his Dad for the next year”

The Bold didn’t let the unlucky goal take the wind out of them. As the period progressed, TMU continued to rack up shots while the Lions failed to generate momentum. 

York fourth-year forward Brock McLeod took a penalty with nine seconds remaining in the frame, putting the Bold on the man advantage to start the third. Despite outshooting York 22-1 in the second period, the game remained tied entering the third. 

The Bold opened the final frame with a power play marker reminiscent of their first goal. Martin sent a cross-ice pass to Bold second-year forward Connor Bowie, who fed Gursoy for an easy backhand tap in past Serhyenko to restore the TMU lead yet again. 

The Bold added insurance an insurance marker with 9:40 left in the third as Portokalis got a backhander past York’s netminder

With under two minutes remaining, the Lions pulled their goalie for the extra man. Bollers, who already had an assist on the night, buried the empty-netter, nabbing two points as his father watched from York’s bench. 

“I think Kyle getting two points puts the exclamation mark on [the game],” Roberts said. “I’m going to get back in the room and text his Dad and rub it in a little bit—we don’t play them again, so I can kind of do that.”

UP NEXT: The TMU Bold look to build over their dominant performance as they head to Gryphon Centre to square off against the Guelph Gryphons on Nov. 10. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Leave a Reply