Home Sports T-Blues take third at Humes tournament

T-Blues take third at Humes tournament

by Archives January 9, 2002
Aggressiveness was the name of the game in last Sunday’s Teresa Humes’ consolation final between the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Middlebury Panthers.
The Varsity Blues’ intense playing style assured them of third spot in the tournament as they beat the Panthers by a score of 3-1.
Both teams seemed intent on winning this hockey game as soon as the puck dropped. After missing what should have been an easy goal, the Varsity Blues’ offence picked up the pace and displayed their quick skating abilities, leaving the Panthers’ defence in their wake.
In the first period alone, the Varsity Blues accumulated five roughing and body checking penalties. The penalty troubles did not hinder the Blues as they managed to score a shorthanded goal with nine minutes remaining when forward Kim Malcher scored on a breakaway.
Toronto picked up on Middlebury’s hesitation and while on a power play, Varsity Blue Jillian Savin broke away to shoot the puck over Madouros’ left shoulder with three minutes remaining in the first period, upping Toronto’s lead to 2-0.
Toronto showed why they are ranked second in the country when centre Bree Kruklis won the second period’s opening face-off and passed the puck to teammate Susie Laska, who in turn netted a goal only nine seconds into the second frame.
“We lost against Cornell in the semi-finals,” said Laska. “[But] I am proud of the way we played today. We came out strong, and knew we had to remain strong throughout the game in order to win.”
The Varsity Blues kept pushing hard throughout the period and dominated every aspect of the game. The offensive lines were very quick and passes were made with precision, and Toronto goaltender Allison Houston’s skills made up for the team’s second-rate defence. Houston, who was named the tournament’s top goaltender, attributes the teams’ win to hard work.
“We had to focus on the game, a couple of their forwards got pretty close to scoring, but I just kept my cool and kept my feet moving.”
The Panthers’ offence, who finally got their legs and began to play more aggressively in the second, got their chance when forward Kristin Reid distracted Houston with a fake-out before passing to teammate Rose Babst, who sank the puck in between the goaltender’s pads. Middlebury’s celebration was short-lived, as the goal seemed to anger Toronto and make them more determined to win. The Varsity Blues paid for their bad temper by obtaining three penalties in as many minutes, but were able to hold on to their 3-1 lead.
The Middlebury Panthers showed signs of fatigue when they skated back onto the ice for third-period action, but their defence hung on strong throughout the last period.
The fact that neither team scored in the third period was not a reflection of the play during the final 20 minutes. The action was high-tempo, but no one could solve the goaltenders at either end. There was a lot of end-to-end action, with the Panthers desperately attempting to pick up the pace and the Varsity Blues’ defence struggling to contain them.
Middlebury had two power play opportunities but were unable to capitalize.
The Panthers pulled out all the stops in the final minutes of the game but the clock ran out, allowing the Toronto Varsity Blues to take third spot in the tournament’s ranking. “We were pretty focused during the tournament,” Toronto assistant coach Dan Church commented. “We did a great job penalty-killing, we even scored short-handed, and so we deserved this win, I’m very proud of the team’s performance.”

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