The University of Toronto Varsity Blues women's hockey team dropped a 5-2 decision to the Nipissing Lakers in Game 1 of their best-of-three OUA semifinal series on Wednesday night (March 1) at Varsity Arena.
The Blues will look to keep their 2016-17 campaign alive as they head to North Bay for Game 2 this Friday, March 3. Game 3, if necessary, is Saturday night (March 4), also in North Bay. Game time on both nights is 7 p.m.
The Lakers opened the scoring on their first powerplay opportunity of the game as first-year forward Hunter Mosher buried a Jade Gauthier rebound 3:48 into the contest. Nipissing went ahead by two midway through the frame as third-year forward Samantha Strassburger received a pass from Bronwyn Bolduc all alone in front of the net and one-timed it into the top corner.
Nipissing was up 2-0 at the first intermission.
Bolduc put the visitors up by three 12 minutes into the second frame as Gauthier forced a turnover behind the net and found her linemate skating into the high slot.
The Blues got on the board less than two minutes later though as fifth-year forward Taylor Day stripped a Lakers defenceman off the puck, skated in on a breakaway and beat Lakers netminder Jackie Rochefort glove side for the goal.
Toronto was trailing 3-1 heading into the final frame.
Nipissing restored their three-goal lead when second-year defenceman Stacey Henshaw buried a rebound midway through the third; however the Blues answered back as sophomore forward Jessica Robichaud banged in a Cristine Chao cross-crease pass six minutes later.
The Blues were unable to complete the comeback and Lakers forward Natalie Graham added an empty netter to seal the win.
Second-year U of T netminder Valencia Yordanov posted 21 saves in the loss.
Source: Toronto Varsity Blues