Women’s hockey team dominates crosstown rivals

The York University Lions women’s hockey team proved it is the class of Toronto with an emphatic 5-1 victory over cross-town rivals the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at Varsity Arena on Saturday.

Team captain Courtney Unruh had four points – a goal and three assists – as the Lions scored early and often on the Varsity Blues to improve their record to 6-3 on the season. She is now tied for seventh in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) scoring with 13 points, and her performance earned her York female athlete of the week honours. Mandy Cole had two goals in the contest, including the game-winner, and goaltender Sydney McMurter was impressive in stopping 48 of the 49 shots she faced.

The men’s hockey team (6-6-1) also recorded a win this weekend, using five power-play goals to knock off the Concordia Stingers 6-4 on Saturday afternoon in Quebec. Nathaniel Brooks (one goal, three assists) and defenceman Kyle Searle (four assists) each had four-point games while team captain Tyler Harrison and rookie Jesse Messier also had multi-point efforts with a goal and an assist each. Searle was named York’s male athlete of the week. The win came on the heels of a tough 6-1 loss to the OUA East-leading Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes the previous evening.

Left: York’s OUA all-star Kevin Cheng (right) and his doubles partner Erik Chong. Photo by Alex Pylyshyn.

The badminton team hosted the OUA championships at the Tait McKenzie Centre this weekend and finished fourth overall after losses to the Western Mustangs in the semifinals and the Varsity Blues in the bronze-medal match. In the championship final, the Waterloo Warriors upset the four-time defending champion Mustangs 8-5 to earn their first badminton title since 2004 and their second overall. Earlier in the week, York head coach Robert Ha was named the OUA coach of the year and Kevin Cheng was named an all-star for the first time.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams both dropped games to the visiting Lakehead Thunderwolves and McMaster Marauders this weekend in the final doubleheader before the December break.

On Friday, the women (1-6) went down 71-64 to the Thunderwolves after a late charge in the fourth quarter couldn’t close the gap before time ran out. Brittany Szockyj finished with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds for the double double while Nadia Qahwash and Emma Dillon each had 13 points. In the men’s game, the strong play of rookie Dejan Kravic wasn’t enough to overtake Lakehead in the 89-76 loss. Kravic had a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and also added five blocks, three steals and two assists.

Saturday’s matchup against the Marauders was much tougher for the women and they were overmatched by the class of the OUA East. Qahwash led all Lions with 12 points as the team fell 84-49 to the Marauders. The men (1-5) had more success in their game against McMaster behind David Tyndale’s 19 points but they ultimately went down 74-70.

Basketball may be done at home until January but the volleyball teams return to the Tait McKenzie Centre this weekend for games on Saturday and Sunday. The men’s and women’s hockey teams will also be in action.

Submitted by Alyson Fisher, sport & recreation information officer with Sport York