TORONTO, ON – Playing for two teams in U SPORTS and OUA hockey is not uncommon. To play for two contenders? Well, you’re getting a little closer to rare. But for Maddy Walsh’s effort against the Toronto Varsity Blues, well, that’s just stuff of legend.
It was a mixed weekend overall for the Brock Badgers, as they got outmatched in the second half of their back-to-back – a 5-0 home opener loss to Nipissing. On Saturday, though, the Badgers walked into Varsity Arena and picked up their first win in Toronto since 2017 with a 3-1 victory over the Blues.
The key performance for their win came from a familiar face to the Blues faithful in defender Madelyn Walsh. Walsh was a stalwart on the backend for Toronto for three seasons between 2019 and 2023, picking up four goals and 19 points in 60 regular season games. After transferring to do her master’s at Brock, Walsh picked up the only goal in Brock’s 1-0 win over Laurier on opening weekend before adding a pair in the first period against Toronto on Saturday.
For the Badgers, they struggled to generate consistent offence overall a season ago, finishing tied for 10th with 41 goals, and they also lost their previous top-scoring defender in Paige Cahoon. With those facts in mind, a continued run of strong play from Walsh would be an asset.
After a tough start to their second season in their new home, the Badgers get a second crack at it when the Windsor Lancers head to Canada Games Park on Friday before they take the trip up the QEW to York to play the Lions on Saturday.
Struggling power-play sinks TMU early in the season
The OUA East has been the division of haves and have-nots through the first two weekends, as three teams have at least one win and three sit with none. So that is to say that the TMU Bold are not alone in their early season struggles, but they are alone in one unique issue: no team so far this season is scoreless through as many chances with the extra skater.
With no power-play goals through their first 19 attempts, the Bold have struggled to find offence early in the season, which showed on the weekend. The team had the extra skater six times in their game against the Mustangs, but could only get one five-on-five goal past Emma Catalano. Western, meanwhile, hung four on TMU in the second, including a shorthanded goal, to win 4-1.
The following night against Windsor, the Bold had four shots to go on the powerplay and blanked each time, including an opportunity that they failed to convert while down 3-1 with less than five minutes to play in the third before immediately taking a penalty. The Bold scored on four-on-four, but fell 3-2 to the Lancers to drop to 0-3 to begin the season.
TMU gets two shots to break out of their slump on the upcoming weekend. First, a visit on Friday comes from the other 0-3 team in the East, the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks. One of those teams will finally get their first win of the year, but if it isn’t TMU, they’ll get a second chance when the Guelph Gryphons (who sit in last but also a four-way tie for third) head to Mattamy Athletic Centre.