MONTREAL, QC. (U SPORTS) - Athena Hauck had two third-period assists, helping the No. 8-seeded Mount Royal Cougars to a 3-2 win over the No. 1 Toronto Varsity Blues in the first quarterfinal of the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championships at CEPSUM in Montréal on Thursday. Hauck added a shot on goal and finished +2 in the win over the favoured Varsity Blues.
The first period was relatively quiet. The Varsity Blues took two minor penalties while Mount Royal had one. Neither team could capitalize, and the Cougars held a slight 6-5 lead in the shots department. None bigger than the one that found the back of the net with 45 seconds remaining in the opening frame, and after one, Mount Royal held a 1-0 lead.
Toronto brought more energy into the second period, where they found their first goal of the tournament at 6:31. The Blues were in control before taking two penalties on the same shift and sending Mount Royal to a 5-on-3. The Cougars were unable to capitalize and soon after, it was Toronto’s turn to score a last-minute goal. With 55 seconds to go in the middle frame, the Blues found the back of the net to make it 2-1.
The Cougars were strong and steady throughout the game, and especially in the third period. The Blues were held to just four shots, while Mount Royal managed to find the equalizer on a nice point shot with just over ten minutes to play. With 3:45 on the clock, the Cougars found the go-ahead marker and set the stage for a quarterfinal upset. The Cougars were happy to play defence and watch the clock hit zero, completing the 3-2 victory.
Courtney Kollman scored the opener, Jori Hansen-Young scored the equalizer, and Breanne Trotter scored the game-winner for the Cougars. Goaltender Kaitlyn Ross saved 20 of the 22 shots she faced, including two huge saves in the dying seconds.
Toronto’s Caroline Eagles was awarded player of the game, finishing with one goal. Emma Potter was the other goal scorer, while Isabella Greco and Taylor Trussler each added an assist. Erica Fryer made 16 of 19 saves in the loss for the Varsity Blues.
With the win, the Cougars advance to Saturday’s championship semifinal, where they will play the winner of the Montréal-UNB game at 4:30 p.m. (Eastern). Toronto will play the loser of the Montréal-UNB game in a consolation game on Saturday at 10 a.m. (Eastern). All games at the championship can be seen on CBC Sports digital platforms (English) and at usports.ca (French).