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Members of the Bold men's hockey team celebrates
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Late Grigorev winner against Brock pushes Bold to Queen’s Cup final

By Evan Davis

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s hockey team have made history by advancing to their first-ever Queen’s Cup final. 

The Bold booked their spot in the final with a 2-1 win over the first-place Brock Badgers in the series-deciding game three at Canada Games Park. 

With under two minutes left in the third period, first-year TMU forward Daniil Grigorev ripped a shot over the blocker of first-year Brock goaltender Connor Ungar for the game-winning goal—much to the dismay of the Badgers home crowd.

“I don’t like Brock at all,” said third-year TMU forward Kyle Bollers following the Bold’s game two win on March 2. “From our first year when we lost to them when we could have went to the Queen’s Cup…there’s a lot of bad blood there. That’s something [we] haven’t forgotten. It’s a bit in the back of my mind.”

After dropping game one, the Bold took games two and three to claim their stake as Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West champions. 

They will now host the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes—winners of the OUA East—at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) in the Queen’s Cup final on March 9. 

The Badgers, who were 15-1 at home throughout the regular season and playoffs coming into game three, could only net one past second-year TMU goaltender Kai Edmonds—who made 33 saves in the win.

After an even open period, both teams remained tied heading into the middle frame as momentum was still up for grabs. The game began to get chippier in the second period, which led to second-year TMU forward Connor Bowie taking a high-sticking penalty on fifth-year Brock forward Justin Brack. 

Just like they have done all post-season, Brock got the scoring started first with a gorgeous goal from their regular season leading scorer fourth-year forward Jacob Roach. 

Roach walked into the slot and fired a shot top shelf to give the Badgers the lead for his second of the post-season, bringing the Brock crowd to their feet.

Heading into game three, the Badgers were 16-4 when scoring the first goal during the regular season and playoffs, which meant TMU had to find a way to overcome a tall task.

Just minutes later, the Bold were desperate for a response. With the team pushing on the attack, fourth-year forward Zach Roberts fed Bowie a slick feed before he potted it past Ungar to restore the tie.

With the goal, Bowie finally put an end to his seven-game goalless drought. Roberts, who had just two points in ten games during the regular season, now has three assists in five playoff games.

A TMU player and Brock player battle for a puck along the boards

Despite the offensive firepower on both sides, the game belonged to the goaltenders. Ungar made numerous highlight reel saves to keep this game tied, with Edmonds doing the same. 

Ungar finished with 35 saves, many of those coming on great TMU scoring opportunities.

With the game tied at one heading into the final frame, it felt as if the next goal would be the deciding factor. 

Both teams continued to remain aggressive, which cost the Bold just six minutes into the period. Third-year Bold defenceman Ryan Wells found himself in a bit of trouble, taking a double-minor high-sticking penalty on third-year Badgers forward Christophe Cote. 

Despite the Bold being down a key penalty-killing defenceman, they killed off their most crucial penalty of the game.

As the game entered its late stages, both teams played conservatively so as not to make a costly mistake. 

In the dying minutes of the third period, Brock’s Roach took a tripping penalty, potentially allowing the Bold to take the lead late in the game.

While the Bold couldn’t score on the power play, they built momentum with the clock winding down.

With only 1:53 left on the clock, Grigorev, who had scored the lone TMU goal in game one of this series, unleashed a cannon from the top of the circle. A puck that was under the body of second-year Brock defenceman Jonah Boria squirted out to Grigorev, who made no mistake rifling it past Ungar. 

The Badgers, a team dominant in their home arena all season, struggled on home ice in the biggest game of the year as the Bold handed them just their second loss at Canada Games Park.

With the win, the Bold avenged their defeat in the OUA West final from two years ago. 

UP NEXT: Puck drop at the MAC for the Queen’s Cup final between the Bold and the Patriotes is set for 6:15 p.m. on March 9. 

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