Toronto, ON – There isn’t an atmosphere in OUA hockey quite like the school day game.
On Friday morning, the TMU Bold and the Brock Badgers got their chance to experience the school-day game atmosphere as students from across Toronto filled the seats of Mattamy Athletic Centre. “It was great. We love having the kids here,” Erika Crouse said post-game.
Unfortunately for the Bold and the kids that filled the seats, the game resulted in a tightly contested 4-2 Badgers win.
Just nine seconds in, the Badgers took a 1-0 lead as Catriona Cormier tapped it home for her fourth of the season.
“We weren’t ready on that first shift. All three of their forwards busted right through and came at us pretty heavily. We weren’t strong enough on the back post. It’s in the back of our net before we even were ready,” Bold coach Lisa Haley said.
Ten minutes later, though, Megan Breen got the shot through from the point, which ended up getting initially blocked, but Brooke Michaud found the puck to score her second goal of the season to tie the game up 1-1.
In the 2nd period, the TMU Bold found themselves in penalty trouble as they had to kill off a 5-on-3 and multiple 5-on-4 Badger powerplays. Halfway through the second, on one of those power-plays the Badgers regained the 2-1 lead off a Paige Cohoon shot.
The Cohoon goal was under controversy as it looked as though Alexia Stratos had been interfered with. After a discussion with Bold head coach Lisa Haley, the goal stood.
“The puck was still loose. Yes, the goalie’s pad got pushed in, but the puck was the first thing that crossed the line. It wasn’t that it was under the goalie’s pad and got pushed in. It was that the puck was loose.” Lisa Haley said.
Four minutes later, the Bold would have a powerplay of their own and capitalize on the opportunity as Emily Baxter found Erika Crouse alone backdoor and scored her team-leading ninth goal to tie the game up at 2-2.
“We don’t normally get big crowds like the one today, so when we do, it’s great for our goals and good to get the crowd going,” Crouse said.
After going 0/4 with the extra skater in their Jan 19 win over Windsor, it was vital for the Bold to get their powerplay back up and running.
“I think our powerplay did great tonight. Whenever you can get a powerplay goal, it’s a plus. When we are scoring, it’s great for us and gets the team going.” Crouse said.
With under two minutes remaining in the second period, Mishayla Christensen picked the top corner from the point to give Brock the one-goal advantage.
It was a masterful performance by the Brock Badgers in the third period. They played stout defence, took away all the passing lanes, and ensured the Bold had no time to generate any offence off the rush.
Finally, Madison Cronkwright dropped in the empty-net goal with 11 seconds to play to give the Badgers the 4-2 win.
The season keeps rolling for both the Badgers and the Bold as each side moves on to a key Saturday matchup.
The Bold’s next game sees them head to London for a Saturday afternoon against the Western Mustangs that both teams would love to win (and that Brock would love Western to lose).
While the Badgers head to Nipissing to take on the Lakers and continue their push to usurp the Mustangs for the final playoff spot in the OUA West division