TORONTO, ON – The TMU Bold have been one of the hottest teams in the OUA West division, winning five of their last six games. However, of their five losses, two have come against the Laurier Golden Hawks.
On Thursday night, the Golden Hawks successfully swept the season series with a 2-1 win.
“It’s disappointing. I didn’t think we had much urgency; our execution was poor. Our overall effort from top to bottom, outside the performance of Ryan Dugas,” said TMU head coach Johnny Duco post-game.
“I don’t think anybody played the way they’re capable of.”
During Duco’s media availability after the game, he preached effort. He wants to see more from his guys when competing in these low-scoring affairs. Heading into the next game against the York Lions, he alluded to lineup changes and wanting to reward players that will be putting in the effort.
Ryan Dugas got his first OUA start and was tested early on in the first period as he made crucial saves to keep the offence of the Golden Hawks at bay.
“It’s a great feeling. I waited a long time for it. It was a great game to get in, and I’m really happy with it. I wanted to win.” Dugas said.
For Dugas and Forrest, this next stretch of hockey is the most important. Without Edmonds commanding the net, he’s away with Team Canada at the FISU Games; it’s once again wide open for one of them to step up and take the opportunity.
“I’m going to take what’s given to me, and I will try and do my best with it. That’s all I can do,” Dugas said. “Hopefully, we get some wins here.”
Laurier goalie Christian Propp has been excellent when facing the Bold this season. In the last game between these teams, he allowed three goals on 36 shots. Thursday was much of the same, allowing one goal on 24.
This is the Bold’s first game without league leading-scorer Kyle Bollers & first-year standout goalie Kai Edmonds, who are both away at the World University Games in Lake Placid representing Team Canada.
With Bollers out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, this creates an opportunity for one of the players on the team to rise to the occasion.
“There are guys that have been chomping at the bit trying to get opportunities to get more playing time, more ice-time, more looks,” Duco said. “A lot of those guys got that but didn’t make the most of it.”
The Bold opened the scoring as Jackson Doherty passed to Cole Resnick, which drew a Golden Hawk defender to him and opened up the passing lane for Jacob Kamps to score his second of the year.
The lead was short-lived as Matthew Zebedee toe-dragged it and shot it over the shoulder of Dugas to tie the game at 1-1.
The Bold had trouble sustaining pressure in the offensive zone during Thursday’s game which is something to keep an eye on with the absence of Bollers.
For the Bold, now is the time for the depth to step up and show what they have. Bollers is such a key piece to this roster that when you subtract him from the lineup, it creates a massive hole. In the coming games, the Bold need to find answers for who those players will be.
Both teams exchanged chances in the 2nd period, but the score remained tied at one goal a piece.
The Golden Hawks struck quickly five minutes into the 3rd period off a Chris Playfair lost defensive zone faceoff. Sullivan Sparkes was in the right spot as the puck squirted loose and he put it home for his fifth goal of the season which was the game winning goal.
On hosting 2024 USPORTS Nationals
It was announced in December that Toronto Metropolitan University would be host to the 2024 USPORTS Nationals. That is something the program has been building towards.
“We’re super excited about it. It’s been in the works for some years. As we’ve continued to build our program and be a perennial contender and consistently nationally ranked, we felt it was a great time to represent TMU.” Johnny Duco said with a grin on his face.
You can tell he was already giddy just thinking about it, adding that players from last year’s team got to experience it and is super excited to have it inside the old Maple Leaf Gardens.