The Varsity Blues had a rough weekend on the ice, falling 2-1 to the Brock Badgers on Friday, November 4 and 6-4 to the Ryerson Rams on Saturday, November 5. It has been a devastating year for the Blues so far, who haven’t managed a single win in nine attempts going 0-7-2 in the OUA’s West Division.
Though, to their credit, the Blues have lost six of the nine games they’ve played by just a single goal. Getting over that hump is something that head coach Darren Lowe wants to work on going forward.
The Blues allowed the first goal of the game when in the first period. Brock’s Josh Timpano tipped in a long shot past Blues goaltender Andrew Hunt. Moments later, the Badgers added another goal, thanks to Matt McLeod.
Third-year Blues forward, Matt Campagna, found a breakaway opportunity right out of the penalty box, but couldn’t put the puck past Badgers goalie Clint Windsor. The impressive goalie stopped 38-of-39 shots on net, proving to be the biggest factor in the team’s success that evening.
First-year Connor Bebb ended Windsor’s shutout chance at 11:58 in the third period, making it an exciting ending.
The Blues spent a lot of time in the penalty box on Friday night, serving a total of 22 minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct. They proved strong on the penalty kill, but more focus needs to be placed on bettering their discipline.
The Blues fared well against the No. 8-nationally-ranked Ryerson Rams on Saturday at Mattamy Athletic Centre for the first 30 minutes of the game, keeping the close score of 1-1. However, in the final 10 minutes of the second period, the Rams scored three goals in less than six minutes to take a 4-1 lead headed into the final period.
It was exciting to see Toronto compete so vigorously against the second-best team in the West Division. Toronto only lost to York—the best in the division—by a score of 1-0 three weeks ago.
Third-year defenseman, Matt Heffernan, gave his Blues squad some hope notching his first career goal. Moments later, team captain Charlie Connel brought Toronto within one goal at the 8:31 mark of the third period. Again, the Blues found themselves in a one-goal predicament, creating an exciting final minute.
The Blues weren’t the comeback kings Saturday night, as they let in an empty-netter with 28 seconds left. Rams goalie Taylor Dupuis played exceptionally well down the stretch, enabling Toronto to come back.
The Varsity Blues take a week off from game play and are set to return to the action next Saturday, November 12 as they host the Nipissing Lakers at Varsity Arena. Nipissing has struggled in their Eastern Division, going 2-6-1 with a goal differential of -20—even worse than the Blues, who are at -16.
It’s important that the Blues pull together a streak of wins soon, because if not, it’ll be a lonely time at the bottom of the league playing until halfway through February.