Photo courtesy of Martin Bazyl.
Behind a four-point night from second-year forward Max Flanagan, the Varsity Blues ended their regular season in style, knocking off the OUA-West leading York Lions 4-1 at Varsity Arena Saturday night (Feb. 13).
With the victory U of T ends the season 11-15-2 and will face a very familiar foe in the first round of the OUA playoffs. The very same York Lions they defeated tonight claimed first place in the OUA West with a 16-7-5 record.
Both the Blues and Lions came out flying Saturday night as the GTA rivals looked to match energy levels in the early going. Marsh was the first to capitalize in the high-paced matchup opening the scoring on the night with a nifty deflection on the powerplay just five minutes in handing Toronto a 1-0 lead they would hold through the first frame .
However, York responded late in the second on the powerplay as Mark Cross banged home the game-tying goal with just five minutes left in the period.
Less than one minute later, it was Flanagan who struck for Toronto finishing off a beautiful passing play, which was setup by Marsh and first-year standout Matt Campagna restoring the Blues one goal lead.
And in the third it was all Varsity Blues as Campagna would add one of his own assisted by Marsh and Flanagan, followed by Flanagan’s second of the night on a 5-on-3 man advantage and assisted by Blues scoring leader Christian Finch and Corey Jackson.
U of T goalies Andrew Hunt and Michael Nishi split duties on the night with Hunt finishing with 25 saves and Nishi stopping 8.
The Varsity Blues will now look to utilize the momentum gained in the big regular season finale victory over the Lions as they are set to begin their playoff season this upcoming week. Toronto heads to York on Wednesday, February 17 for Game 1, before hosting Game 2 at Varsity Arena on Saturday, February 20. Game 3, if necessary, is back at York on Sunday (Feb. 21) at 2 p.m.