|February 8, 2003
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO MEN'S ICE-HOCKEY
Toronto Varsity Blues - 4, Trois Rivières Patriotes - 2
The Blues started the game with a very fast pace and jumped to a quick two goal lead. Steve Murphy scored both first period goals, each assisted by George Trifon. It looked like a repeat from the night before against Concordia when the Blues got to a quick three goal lead only to see it widdled down to a three-all tie. The question would be could they be sharp enough defensively in order to shut down one of the highest scoring teams in Canadian university hockey - the Patriotes.
It did not look well in the second period. It began with a penalty against the Blues and quickly the Patriotes were back in the game with a power play goal. But the Blues remained disciplined enough to end the period with a 2-1 lead.
The third period was one of the best I've seen, even though there was some unnecessary fighting that is unusual in university hockey. Mike Nason finally scored a key goal to take a 3-1 lead which pretty well shut down Trois Rivières. A tactless slashing penalty against Tyler Middlebrook almost brought Trois Rivières back into the game. They scored their second powerplay goal. But in the last minute, the Patriotes pulled their goalie and gave an opportunity to Brendan Barbowski who made no mistake in a difficult shot from the blue line to finish the game at 4-2. I did not catch the announced "player of the game", but there is no doubt that it was the captain Steve Murphy who skated all over the ice with exuberant energy. George Trifon was robust with checks and solid energy as well. Surprisingly Ian Malcolm was shut down and remained pointless. The Patriotes seemed to have done their scouting homework and were determined to keep the highest scoring Blues player well checked. The Blues outshot the Patriotes 35-24, and this win might very well propel the Blues into the top ten teams of Canadian University Hockey.