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Members of the TMU Bold women's hockey team hold their sticks in the air to celebrate their win
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TMU fly past Golden Hawks, live to see another day

By Adriana Fallico

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold women’s hockey team blanked the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 3-0 on Feb. 9 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, earning their fourth-straight win.  

With this victory, the Bold’s playoff hopes remain alive as the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks also lost 5-2 to the Nipissing Lakers on Friday. TMU are in a fight to claim the last playoff seed in the Ontario University Athletics East division alongside the Ridgebacks and the York Lions. 

“We knew going into the season it was going to be a young team and that we’d probably be trying to squeak into the playoffs,” said TMU head coach Lisa Haley. “[I] didn’t think we’d have to win our last five games to put ourselves in that situation, but we’re trying to just embrace it and take it game by game.” 

The first whistle of the game didn’t come until six minutes into the first period as both teams whirled around the ice, unable to generate lethal scoring opportunities. TMU registered their first shot on goal until the halfway mark of the opening frame. 

The Bold came alive when they successfully killed a five-on-three Golden Hawks power play.  

The Bold have killed the last 17 penalty kills over their four-game win streak. 

“We’re putting it together in practice and I think it’s translating to what we’re seeing in the games here”

“I think we’ve found some chemistry with the groups that are going out there,” Haley said on the team’s successes shorthanded. “I think we’re trying to stick to pairs on the front end with the forwards, and they seem to be able to read off each other really well.” 

The Bold opened the scoring early into the second period with fourth-year forward Emily Baxter’s 14th of the season. A flurry of bodies in front of the crease allowed the TMU captain to backhand the puck past second-year Golden Hawks netminder Kayla Renaud. 

After being awarded their third power play of the night, the Bold wasted no time as third-year forward Cailey Davis lifted the puck above Renaud’s blocker side to double the Bold lead. 

“Our power plays [have] been kind of on fire these past two weeks, I think when [the puck is] sitting there after a rebound, you got to just put it in,” said Davis. “I don’t think I really thought much through it, but I just knew what I needed to do.” 

First-year Bold forward Neely Van Volsen sealed the deal with an empty-net goal late in the third period to secure the win. 

Davis believes the team has found their groove in the last two weeks. 

“We’re putting it together in practice and I think it’s translating to what we’re seeing in the games here,” she said. 

The Golden Hawks challenged second-year Bold goalie Alexia Stratos throughout the night, but she stood tall. The Markham, Ont. netminder posted 41 saves in her second shutout in as many games. 

In only three appearances this season, Stratos has let in only two goals on 97 shots.

“It’s win or go home, I expect that we’ll be ready to play our best game”

She believes that the “difference-maker” in this renewed playoff push has been the team’s unity.

“We’ve just been playing as a team, keeping it simple and playing for each other,” Stratos said. 

With only one game remaining on their schedule against the University of Toronto (U of T) Varsity Blues, Haley believes their final regular season tilt will feel like a“playoff game.”

“I don’t know what [type of] lightning we caught in a bottle, but hopefully there’s some left for at least one more game,” Haley giggled.

“It’s win or go home, I expect that we’ll be ready to play our best game and hopefully that gets us what we need.” 

UP NEXT: The Bold close out their regular season against their crosstown rivals, the U of T Varsity Blues on Feb. 15 at the Varsity Arena. Puck-drop is set for 7:30 p.m. 

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