The U of T Varsity Blues women’s hockey team dominated the Laurentian Voyageurs with a well-deserved 4-2 victory last Saturday. This game marks Toronto’s 10th win of the season, leaving them fourth in the OUA standings with an overall record of 10-4.
The first period set the game’s pace and brought the chilly yet exuberant crowd at Varsity Arena to their feet. At the midway point in the first period, the Blues opened up the scoring. Blues defender Caitlin Maikawa sent a wrist shot through traffic from the blue line, which, to her team’s surprise, found the back of the net and beat Voyageurs goaltender Emily Toffoli.
Toronto’s lead didn’t last long, as Laurentian responded less than two minutes later with a goal from forward Victoria Medeiros. Skating to the front of the net, she took a rebound off the pad of Toronto’s backup goaltender Michaela Logan and stuffed the puck into the open corner.
The momentum shifted throughout the first period, with no team in complete control. After the game-tying goal was scored, the Blues potted another goal with a point-blank shot from Courtney Brind’Amour-McClure’s stick to make the score 2-1. The Blues’ celebration didn’t last long—Laurentian’s Amanda Pereira scored and tied the game 2-2 at the end of the first period.
After the opening whistle of the second period, fans didn’t have to wait long to see another goal, as Blues captain Kelly O’Hanlon found an open Taylor Day, who managed to earn a breakaway and snap the puck to the top left side of the net, scoring the game-winning goal just a minute and 38 seconds into the period.
Blues forward Amanda Ricker added an insurance marker late in the second period, deflecting the puck off Makawa’s shot and beating Toffoli to give the Blues a 4-2 lead before the third period.
The next period saw continuous physical play but no goals. Both squads found penalty trouble on a few occasions during the final period, but U of T proved that they were the better team by winning the special teams’ battle and outplaying Laurentian on defence and offence. The Blues used their size during the penalty kill to keep the puck out of their zone. While on the power play, the team consistently shot pucks on net and played strong defence along the boards, refusing Laurentian the opportunity to make a comeback.
Logan, the Blues’ first-year goaltender and a British Columbia native, played sensationally and was a big factor in U of T’s victory. Though Logan let in two goals during the first period, she remained resilient and comfortable between the pipes later and made 17 saves.
Amanda Ricker, a fourth-year UTM kinesiology and physical education student, says the win was the result of a team effort. She hopes the team will earn more wins before the holidays to give them a confidence boost when they return in the new year to fight for a chance to play in the playoffs. “I thought we played very well. We battled really hard both offensively and defensively, and it’s huge going into the holiday season,” she said.
The Blues will play their next home game against York University on December 10 at 7:30 p.m.