By Adriana Fallico
The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s hockey team shutout the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 2-0 on Nov. 16 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).
With the win, the Bold extended their winning streak to four games and improved their home record to a perfect 4-0.
“For us, it was a little [bit] of a slow start…they came out and probably outplayed us a little in the first, we were able to kind of hold tight,” said Bold head coach Johnny Duco.
Both teams came out of the gates hot, yet the first period was relatively uneventful afterwards.
The Gee-Gee’s hemmed the Bold in their own zone for a few chances, but could not find the back of the net.
Despite Duco praising the team’s “bend-don’t-break” mentality, he believes the team could have been better in the first 20 minutes.
The Gee-Gee’s maintained the pressure they had from the first period, but the Bold reined back control of the game by the back half of the second period. From that point forward, it was all TMU as they put up 14 shots in the middle frame.
With just under six minutes left, the Bold broke through. Second-year TMU forward Ian Martin passed the puck from his backhand to first-year forward Daniil Grigorev, who was left alone at the front of the net. The Russian forward slid the puck into the open cage, tallying his fifth goal of the season.
After scoring two goals the game prior against the Waterloo Warriors, Grigorev was flying up and down the ice once again.
“[Grigorev is] getting more comfortable here in Toronto and I think you’re starting to see that translate into his game,” Duco said. “He’s gotten more comfortable with the team, his linemates, within our systems, with our coaches and I think that…is allowing him to play at the level that he’s playing at.”
The Bold dominated play to close out the second, but the Gee-Gee’s did not go down without a fight. The team from the nation’s capital came out flying, throwing up 10 shots in the first 10 minutes of the third period while the Bold didn’t register a shot on goal until the 11:27 minute mark.
Second-year Bold goaltender Kai Edmonds put his teammates in a position to succeed, and he was rewarded with his first shutout of the season.
“Taking it save-by-save and focusing on the puck and every opportunity that [the Gee-Gee’s] and doing everything I can from the net,” said Edmonds.
The Bold netminder credited his teammates for staying consistent with their play throughout the full 60 minutes.
“I think we just didn’t get frustrated, we just kept playing our game, kept the forecheck…and eventually we just started turning the ice to our favour,” he said.
Third-year TMU forward Kyle Bollers extended his individual point streak to three games, with an assist and buried an empty-net goal in the final 20 seconds of the third period to put the nail in the coffin for the Gee-Gee’s.
Duco had nothing but praise for the Gee-Gee’s and recognized them as a strong competitor in Ontario University Athletics (OUA).
“Tonight was a really good test for us because that’s a really good Ottawa team over there, I think one of the best teams in the OUA,” he said.
With the win, the Bold stay undefeated on home ice through four games at the MAC.
“I think last year we were really bad at home and we’ve made a really intentional effort to protect home ice knowing that we are going to have to beat some really good hockey teams in this building at the national tournament here. We want to play really well in this building,” Duco added.
When asked what exactly gave the Bold the edge in the game, Grigorev had a simple response:
“Because we scored.”
UP NEXT: TMU will host the Carleton Ravens on Nov. 17 at the MAC. Puck drop is set for 7:15 p.m.