Oshawa’s Ontario Tech woman’s hockey team playoff bound after weekend split


Published March 7, 2022 at 1:59 pm

Photo Al Fournier

A regulation 2-1 loss to the Ryerson Rams on Saturday afternoon by the Ontario Tech women’s hockey team has made it official: the Ridgebacks will host Round 1 of the OUA playoffs on Wednesday in Oshawa.

Puck drop on Wednesday, March 9 will be 7 p.m. at the Campus Ice Centre against the York Lions or Queen’s Gaels.

In the final game of conference play, the Rams’ Erika Crouse scored the game winner with just over six minutes left – two minutes after Ontario Tech’s Lauren Beaulieu scored her first OUA goal to tie it – to push the Rams past the Ridgebacks in the OUA standings heading into the playoffs.

Ontario Tech (5-10-3 overall, 5-5-1 conference), blanked the Rams 1-0 the night before, with Nicole Escano providing all the offence Ridgeback goaltender Zoe McGee would need, stopping all 37 Ryerson shots for her second OUA shutout.

Before the game the team honoured nine graduating seniors: Blaire Allison of Pickering and Natalie Wozney of Whitby, as well as Mia Rogers (Keswick), Kate Heath (Elora), Jamie Bulleid (Waterdown), Marissa Murphy (Odessa), Kassidy Ford (Gananoque), Megan Johnston (Goderich) and Jill Banks (Barrie).

Basketball stars earn Players of the Week honours

Anthony Pate of the men’s basketball team and Vanessa Budimunda of the women’s team have been named the Ontario Tech athletes of the week for the period ending March 6.

Pate, a legal studies major, led the Ridgebacks in each of their games against the Toronto Varsity Blues. In Wednesday’s 98-74 loss he finished with 18 points, while also picking up two steals and five boards. Saturday afternoon in their 79-61 loss, Pate dropped a game-high 19 points, going four-for-four from the line. He grabbed another five rebounds, while picking up a steal.

Budimunda, also a legal studies major, had back-to-back double doubles for the Ridgebacks against the Toronto Varsity Blues. In the first game of the week she finished with 10 points and 14 boards, including two key free throws with 42 seconds left, to help the Ridgebacks hold on to defeat Toronto and win their second game of the year.

In the second game of the week, she finished with a team-high 17 points on 7-for-15 shooting, alongside 13 boards. The Ridgebacks pushed to tie the game 57-57 and force overtime, but ultimately fell 70-64 to the Varsity Blues to split the season series.

Basketball teams drop pair against Varsity Blues

Despite holding Toronto Varsity Blues to just 50 points after three quarters, the Ontario Tech men’s basketball team suffered a 79-61 defeat Sunday afternoon in Toronto.

The Varsity Blues took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter and would go on to outscore Ontario Tech 29-18 to break the game open in the final 10 minutes. Inaki Alvarez was the Varsity Blues’ top scorer as he finished the afternoon with 15 points.

Anthony Pate led all scorers with 19 in just 27 minutes. AJ Cummings also cracked double digits for the Ridgebacks as he finished the game with 13 points and three triples.

Ontario Tech’s next game will be on Friday night in North Bay as they’ll take on the Nipissing Lakers.

The women, meanwhile, went to overtime Sunday against Toronto looking to win their second straight road game against the Varsity Blues. The Toronto squad outscored the Ridgebacks 13-7 in the extra session, however, to walk away with at 70-64 victory.

Toronto took a nine-point lead into the fourth before the Ridgebacks would come back and force overtime.

There were several big performers for Ontario Tech including Dalyssa Fleurgin, who scored 16 points, and Vanessa Budimunda, who finished the afternoon with 17 points and 13 rebounds in a game-high 42 minutes played. Alyssa Carin made several highlight-reel plays in Sunday’s loss, including multiple no-look passes.

Lauren Boers led the way for the Varsity Blues. She finished as the game’s top scorer with 22 points, while also grabbing seven boards.

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