TORONTO,ON – Friday night was a great sign for the TMU Bold in their rebuild. The Nipissing Lakers are one of the best teams in the league and amid a three game losing skid, they kept it as competitive as possible in a shootout loss.
For the first five minutes of the game in the opening period, the Lakers controlled the pace of play and had a ton of high-danger chances. If not for the play of Lauren Griffin, the game would be over before it started.
“I think Griffin was the star of the show for us.” TMU Bold head coach Lisa Haley complimented her goalie after the game.
The Bold have been starving for a powerplay goal as they’ve yet to convert this season. Cailey Davis at the goal line had the best chance but got stoned by Chantelle Sandquist.
“We generated at least two grade-A scoring chances off it and it would have been nice to be able to get one out of it.” Said Haley when asked about the effectiveness of the sluggish powerplay thus far into the season.
The one successful thing about special teams for the Bold has been their penalty kill, which is sitting at 90%, and it stood tall and killed it off as the Lakers threatened with their OUA East leading powerplay.
With eight minutes left in the first period, Neely Van Volsen would grip it and rip it for her second goal of the season as the heavy underdogs would take the 1-0 lead.
The second period would put the defensive structure of the Bold to the test. As has been the story all season long for Griffin, they are used to coming up with timely saves.
Five minutes into the second period, Tori Butler would take a very undisciplined penalty as after the whistle, she would shove a Laker into the back of the TMU net. Something you can’t do when going up against one of the league’s best powerplays.
The Lakers would capitalize to tie the game up at 1-1 as Emma Thomas redirected a shot from Madison Desmerais on the powerplay.
Through two periods, it’s surprising how quiet the Lakers offence has been. Coming into Friday night’s game, they are leading the league with 28 goals.
“It comes down to 20 minutes for the rest of the game. The first two periods didn’t matter.” TMU Bold standout goalie Lauren Griffin said.
With seven minutes remaining in a tied game, the Lakers threatening in the offensive zone had Griffin dead to rights but somehow made a miraculous sprawling save.
With just under 30 seconds, the Lakers were pressuring the Bold but a few key blocks sent the tied game into overtime.
Back and forth. Chances galore. The oohs and ahhs of the overtime as both Sandquist and Griffin kept their teams in it making spectacular saves left and right.
The Nipissing Lakers would take the game in a shootout beating TMU 2-1.
- Powerplay. Despite not scoring and still not having converted on a chance this season, they had some great opportunities. Soon, they will convert on one.
- Lauren Griffin. Another great game by Griffin asserting themselves as one of the best goalies in the league.
- No one expected the Nipissing Lakers offence to go as quiet as they did. Big props to Griffen for their play. Was the main reason why the Bold only allowed one goal.