Grawbarger’s late goal powers Varsity Blues to Game 1 victory over Bold

Sports are split seconds. From split second decisions, to quick moments, it’s simply nothing else. With 19 seconds remaining in the game, a faceoff was to the right of TMU Bold goalie Lauren Griffin. Just four seconds later, the puck was in the back of their net.

Varsity Arena played host to a nail biter in Game 1 of the Subway Series as Toronto won 2-1 with Sophie Grawberger scoring the game winning goal with 15 seconds left. 

“I think they got lucky at the end. They are a skilled team and they had an opportunity and they capitalized on it.” TMU Bold forward Olivia Giardetti gave her thoughts about Toronto scoring in the dying seconds. “I think they underestimated us.”

Clearly, the team is not discouraged by tonight’s results.

Coming into the series, it looked lopsided as Toronto dominated the Bold throughout the regular season outscoring them 12-2. The Bold gave up the third most goals in the OUA East division with 69. Both of Toronto’s goalies, whether it’s Erica Fryer or Madeline Albert, had a sub 2.00 GAA. With all the statistics going in favour of Toronto, it was clearly a surprise to see the Bold jump out to a 1-0 lead.

“Anything I can do to get energy for the girls. I want them to be just as fired up as I am.,” said Giardetti who commented about her goal. “There’s a lot of things we did that gave momentum for us today.” 

“We caught them off guard. That’s what we were hoping to do and be able to carry through with getting the first goal.” TMU Bold Head Coach Lisa Haley said postgame. “We punched above our weight today against a really great team today for 58 minutes.”

It’s easy to believe that the Varsity Blues weren’t prepared for the attack of the Bold in the first period getting outshot 11-4. Throughout the entire series, the Bold will have to embrace being the underdog, something that TMU Bold Head Coach Lisa Haley was happy about.

“I think they were awesome [at embracing the underdog mentality]. We had a really solid start. Holding UofT to 4 shots in the 1st period.” Haley commented about the teams ability to embrace the underdog mentality. “You have to make sure you don’t give up many scoring chances.” 

The Varsity Blues pushed for offence to try and tie the game but when called upon Lauren Griffin made key saves to keep the Bold in front. The Varsity Blues powerplay, which has been so potent, all season long got two chances but the Bold penalty kill was meticulous with getting sticks in the way of passing lanes and blocking shots.

The 2nd period was a very low event period – the main reason for that being the play of Lauren Griffin and Erica Fryer. Both goalies came up with huge saves. The Varsity Blues were generating a lot of turnovers but couldn’t turn that into any goals.

Just throw it to the net and hope it gets a good bounce. That was the key to the Varsity Blues goal to tie up the game at 1-1. Nikki McDonald threw the puck on the net and it deflected off of Kaitlyn McKnight’s skate and past Lauren Griffin.

You should never count out the Varsity Blues and their potent offence. When you believe you have a chance to breathe, they can take that away from you in seconds which is what happened on Toronto’s winning goal.

The crowd at Varsity Arena erupted as Sophie Grawberger picked up the rebound and put it past Lauren Griffin to secure the Game 1 win.

Now the question remains, who will the Bold go with in Game 2 – do or die – Lauren Griffin or Alexia Stratos?

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