With the OUA season less than a week away, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues look more than prepared after winning 5-1 over the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks in their second preseason game.
Saturday night at the 92 year-old Varsity Arena, Toronto hosted their second and last preseason game, welcoming the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks from Oshawa. It was both teams second preseason game in as many days.
U of T played the York Lions in their first game on Friday evening, falling 2-1 to the suburbians after leading for the majority of the game. On the other side of the ice, the Ridgebacks hosted the Ryerson University Rams, where they also had a 2-1 scoreline, albeit in their favour.
The first period showed the few people in the arena how seriously both these teams were going to take the final preseason game. Toronto, clearly of higher skill dominated possession and got on the board early thanks to a well executed cycle which ended with a deflection off the stick of Hunter Fargey and past the Ridgebacks netminder.
The period remained a tight affair, with U of T having the most of possession- although O Tech’s abundance of shots finally showed its use. With one of their only threatening shots in the period, JC Thivierge whipped the puck over Toronto goaltender Bishop’s shoulder to tie the game at one. Both teams had an additional power-play after the tying goal, but neither were able to reap anything from it.
While the first period was tightly contested, the second was anything but. The shots- which are at one point double in favour of the Ridgebacks, flipped to where U of T had more, and goals followed in suite. Toronto quickly got to it with their second goal of the day, and padded that with an additional pair by the end of the frame. Hunter Fargey scored two, completing his hat-trick, while Scott Kirton chipped in the other tally.
Although the goals were the exciting an important factor in the game, there were also some unfortunate events. The totality of the night was very physical- especially considering it is still preseason. But whether its regular or pre season; injuries and ejections are not what you want to see. Mid- way through the frame toronto defender bore the ugly front of a check from O Tech’s Brett Harasmyuk, and had to leave the game due to injury. Harasmuyk on the other hand was ejected from the game and will have to wait until the preseason to avenge his mistake.
With the game flipped on its head, and all but wrapped up at 4-1- the third period seemed all but a formality, toronto made sure that it was. The abundance of penalties bled into the final frame, and the Varsity Blues took full advantage- extending their lead with another power play goal, this time from Kaden Thompson; making the score an insumentable 5-1 lead.
The game that was at the end of the first period was the polar opposite of the end product. Originally, it looked like the matchup was to be a tight affair, and after one period- maybe even a win for O Tech. However, with a final score of 5-1 and a shot count of 37-16 in favour of toronto, no one would believe you if you said the first period was controlled by the Ridgebacks.
Hat-trick hero Hunter Fargey spoke to 49 after his performance, saying “I don’t usual score like that, it’s usually shots” when speaking about how he scored two of his goals, which came from deflection. The former NCAA div1 player has settled into his first two games with U of T, and is excited for his first U Sports season.
U of T head coach, Ryan Medel was unable for interview post-game due to personal reasons.
The Varsity Blues continue their preseason with a trip to Ottawa next weekend, where they will play U of Ottawa as well as Carleton. Ontario Tech will head to Ryerson to take on the Rams once again.