MONTREAL, QC. (U SPORTS) - Erica Fryer allowed just one goal to lead the first-seeded Toronto Varsity Blues to 4-1 win over the No. 4 UNB Reds in the first consolation semifinal of the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championships at CEPSUM in Montreal on Saturday morning.
Sophie Grawbarger opened the scoring with a goal at the 2:24 mark to give Toronto a 1-0 lead early on in this one. Both teams were happy to feel each other out for the next 15 minutes before Ashley Stratton buried the equalizer for UNB with 2:40 to go, leaving the game tied 1-1 after the first.
Despite trailing in the shots department, Toronto kept the Reds off the board in the second period. UNB was 0-for-2 on the powerplay, and the Varsity Blues made them pay with a goal at the 18:32 mark by Aili McKeown. The go-ahead goal gave Toronto a 2-1 lead heading into the final period.
Toronto wasted no time getting on the board in the third period, as Emma Potter scored the insurance marker just 40 seconds in. The Reds finished the game 0-for-4 on the powerplay, and while UNB had the man advantage and the net empty in the dying seconds, Nikki MacDonald put the game on ice. The Varsity Blues moved on with a 4-1 win.
Erica Fryer was a force in the net, stopping 23 of 24 shots she faced in the win for the Blues. Kendra Woodland made 13 saves on 16 shots in the loss for UNB.
With the win, Toronto advances to the consolation final where they will play the winner of the Nipissing-STFX game at 11 a.m. (Eastern). For the UNB Reds, this marks the end of their 2022-23 campaign. All games at the championship can be seen on CBC Sports digital platforms (English) and at usports.ca (French).