Photo by: Brenden Cowan
On Feb.11, Brock’s women’s hockey team suited up for a home game against Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold that had huge playoff implications.
With just three games left in the regular season, the Badgers are currently fighting for the fourth and final playoff spot in the OUA West, tied with the Western Mustangs, while TMU holds the fourth playoff spot in the OUA east division. The matchup marks the second and final game between the teams this season as they look to sweep the season series 2-0.
The Bold had a strong start to the game—winning the opening faceoff and controlling possession for much of the first five minutes. Brock goaltender Kenzie Harmison had to be sharp early, making a left pad save on a two-on-one rush for the Bold.
Despite Brock’s up-and-down season, Harmison has arguably been the one consistent player on the team. Through 16 games played in the season, she has posted a .933 save percentage and 1.84 goals against average, both are sixth best in the OUA. The Badgers would need a solid game out of Harmison if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive.
After being on their heels for the first five minutes of the game, the Badgers started to push back, making clean break-out passes and cycling them in the TMU zone. Despite all of the offensive zone time, no high-danger chances came from it. In fact, they were giving up dangerous chances off the rush due to long shifts in the offensive zone that would lead to many of the Badger players being tired.
The game tightened up defensively as the first period came to end with neither team able to beat the opposition’s goaltender. Harmison managed 13 saves in the first period while TMU goaltender Alexia Stratos had six saves of her own.
The second period brought more of the same as both teams got their fair share of chances. The best chance of the period came off the rush for the Badgers when Rebekah Feld ripped one off the right post leading to a rebound out in front. But it was cleared away by the TMU defender, not allowing another scoring opportunity.
The shots for each team in the second period were closer than in the first, though TMU still had the edge offensively in the period, managing seven shots to Brock’s six.
The Badgers needed to get their offence going to start the third period and that is exactly what they did. A failed clear attempt by the TMU defenseman was picked off by Badger Lauren Diks and quickly passed over to Madeline Nicholson, who made no mistake beating Stratos over the shoulder to take the 1-0 lead early in the third period.
Brock used the momentum from the first goal to try to get another but Stratos stood strong for TMU, keeping it a 1 goal game. Her best save of the sequence came off of a slot shot from Rebekah Feld that she was able to make a blocker save on.
All the pressure eventually got to TMU, leading to a Brock powerplay just under half way through the third. Unfortunately, Brock was unable to score on the powerplay and did not get many chances through to the net as TMU defenders did a great job of getting in the lane and blocking shots and cross-seam passes.
Brock’s powerplay was followed by three TMU power plays but Harmison’s and the Brock penalty killers’ never say die effort killed all six minutes of TMU’s powerplay. The Bold continued to pressure throughout the rest of the game, even pulling their goalie with 1:15 left in the third period. But Brock was able to hang on for the 1-0 victory on the back of Harmison’s first OUA shutout, keeping Brock’s playoff hopes alive.
The Badgers have two games left in the regular season taking place on Feb. 17 and 18 against the Western University Mustangs (away) and York University Lions (home).
Tickets to Brock’s last home game at Canada Games Park can be bought here and all other information regarding the team can be found at gobadgers.ca.