Toronto, ON – “Are you going to Thursday’s hockey game?” That question was among the chatter leading up to the heavily anticipated OUA MHKY matchup between the TMU Bold and the Toronto Varsity Blues. Despite a dominant performance offensively from TMU it was Toronto’s Jett Alexander who made 41 saves to secure the 4-1 win and the 1-0 series lead over the Bold.
The TMU Bold threatened all first period from shots coming from in the slot to having sustained offensive zone time. Jett Alexander made some clutch saves to keep it at 0-0. Like many times this season, he has been a huge factor in the games allowing just seven goals to the Bold.
“We just have to put it at his feet. He struggles a little bit down low and we have to keep it away from his glove and blocker.” Connor Bowie said.
The Varsity Blues got on the board first as they won an offensive zone faceoff and Peyton Reeves snapped the puck top glove. Kai Edmonds didn’t even see the puck through the screen. The goal silenced the Mattamy Athletic Centre crowd which worked in favour of the Varsity Blues.
In such a big moment, the Varsity Blues continued to push, capitalizing on the powerplay to extend their lead to 2-0. Cole Purboo, the team’s leading point getter throughout the regular season, made his presence known by getting the puck past Edmonds.
“He scores all his goals around the blue paint. It’s something we talked about, we have to take his stick or box him out early.” Duco said.
The Bold had many chances to get on the board with two powerplay opportunities but they went 0/2 – something that Duco wants his team to perform better at for game 2.
“Special teams always plays a role in playoff hockey. That’s another knock against us tonight is that we lost the special teams battle, and that’s an area that we’ve been sharp all season.” Duco said.
For the Bold, it’s very crucial going into Saturday’s game to win the special teams battle especially when the refs put their whistles away. They have to capitalize when presented an opportunity.
Jackson Doherty laid the boom about midway through the 2nd period which generated a lot of cheers from the crowd. Just a few shifts later, Connor Bowie scored to cut into the Varsity Blues lead to make it 2-1.
Nick Wong extended the Varsity Blues lead to 3-1 as he snapped it by Edmonds. Wong would pot his second of the game to make it 4-1 which really solidified the 1-0 series lead as the Bold will go to Varsity Arena to try to stave off elimination. The Bold have a lot of experience from year ago in win or go home scenarios and their coach as to hope they will be able to execute one more time.
“I hope we can lean on the experience from the guys we had last year in the playoffs.”