Photo by: Brenden Cowan
On Jan. 27, the Brock women’s hockey team took on the Toronto Metropolitan University, also known as the TMU Bold, for their first regular season matchup in just over three years. The last time the teams met on Feb. 1, 2020, TMU got the better of the Badgers, beating them 2-1 in a shootout and outshooting them 37-26. Six Badgers from that roster three years ago remain on the team, including Mishayla Christensen, Kaitlyn Colonna, Rebekah Feld, Lauren Diks, Mikayla Flanagan and Paige Cohoon.
The game was played at 11 a.m at Mattamy Athletic Centre, which might be familiar to some as the old Maple Leaf Gardens building. Many of the fans in the crowd were young children from local elementary schools in the area. The two goaltenders in the match may not have the best record, but they have been playing unbelievable hockey for their respective teams this season.
Brock goaltender Kenzie Harmison got the start, and despite the poor 3-7 record, she currently has a 2.19 GAA, and a .926 save percentage. That is good enough for fifth in the OUA in save percentage for goalies that have played 10 or more games this season.
TMU goalie Alexie Stratos had played just five games heading into the matchup against Brock, but has been solid between the pipes, boasting a 2.46 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Those numbers may not be as great as Harmisons’, but they have been good enough for the best of the three goalies on TMU’s roster.
Brock kicked off the game with their fastest start this season, scoring just nine seconds into the game. A rush into the zone, followed by a cross-seam pass by Allison Stevenson right to Catriona Cormier, who put it into the open cage. With the Badgers leading 1-0, all students in the crowd were loving the hot start, despite it coming from the away Brock Badgers.
The next ten minutes of the game were back and forth as both Brock and TMU had 5 shots each, not allowing many high-danger chances. Though multiple failed zone exits by the Badgers led to a shot from the point by TMU defender Megan Breen and a rebound out front to Brooke Michaud was put past the blocker of Harmison to tie the game 1-1.
The remainder of the period would see some tight checking and chances off the cycle in both ends of the ice, but neither team was able to beat the opponent’s goaltender. After just twenty minutes of play, the shots were 14-10 in favour of TMU.
To start the second period, both teams could not establish any offensive zone time as much of the first five minutes was consistent dump-and-change hockey. It was not until the 11:01 mark of the period that the floodgates reopened. The Badgers Paige Cohoon put one past Stratos on the powerplay off of a massive scramble in front of the net. Stratos was furious with the call as she thought she was pushed into her net along with the puck, but the goal stood after the refs got together to discuss the play.
The TMU players were angry, and it showed. Soon after they had a powerplay of their own that they inevitably tied the game on. A pass from the slot, down low to Erika Crouse, who tipped it over the right pad of Harmison. 2-2 with just under five minutes to play in the second period and the young crowd going wild for the Bold.
Brock answered back soon after scoring their third go-ahead goal of the game. This time it was Mishayla Christensen who beat Stratos with a slap shot from the high slot. The period would finish 3-2 and the Badgers had just twenty minutes to play to secure their first victory over TMU in three years.
The Badgers would do just that, allowing only five shots on goal and playing very low-event hockey. An empty netter scored by Madison Cronkwright extended the Brock lead to 4-2 with just over ten seconds left as they cruised to their fifth road win of the season.
The Badgers are currently 8-13 with five more games left in the regular season, making it possible for them to finish .500. Their next matchup is against Western University on Feb. 3. That matchup and all future games can be streamed on OUAtv and tickets to the Feb. 4 game at Canada Games Park can be purchased here.
All information regarding the Badgers can be found at gobadgers.ca.