Hockey Lions open 2010 with three victories

York Lions goaltender Sydney McMurterThe York University Lions men’s and women’s hockey teams began 2010 with a bang as both squads recorded victories in the first week of the new year.

The women’s hockey team remains in third place in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) with an 11-5-1 record after a pair of wins last week. The Lions earned a hard-fought 4-3 shootout victory over the Guelph Gryphons (9-6-3) at home last Tuesday and a crushing 6-1 win over the host Waterloo Warriors (6-9-2) on the road on Sunday. The team also dropped a 5-1 decision to the No. 2 nationally ranked and undefeated Laurier Golden Hawks (17-0-0) on Saturday evening.

Goaltender Sydney McMurter (above) was stellar in net, stopping 79 of the 86 shots she faced, to be named York’s female athlete of the week. Team captain Courtney Unruh had a goal and three assists throughout the week and is now tied for third in the OUA with 22 points.

The men’s hockey team had only one game last week but made the most of it with a 2-1 victory over the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks (6-11-1). Chris Jones and Mackenzie Micks scored for the Lions, and goaltender David Davenport made 32 saves for the win. The Lions are now fifth in the OUA standings with a record of 9-8-1.

The men’s volleyball team has yet to resume its OUA regular-season schedule but was busy this weekend hosting the 31st annual Excalibur Volleyball Classic. The No. 1 nationally ranked Laval Rouge et Or captured the gold medal at the eight-team event with a thrilling 3-1 win over the Toronto Ruffriders of the Ontario Volleyball Association’s men’s open division in the final. The No. 8-ranked Brandon Bobcats won the bronze medal.

The host Lions defeated OUA rivals the Laurier Golden Hawks 3-2 in their final match of the tournament to finish seventh.

The women’s volleyball team played its only match of the weekend against crosstown rivals the Toronto Varsity Blues and fell 3-2. Going into the match the two teams were tied atop the OUA East standings with 12 points each. The Varsity Blues (7-4) now hold a two-point edge, but the Lions (6-3) have two games in hand.

Talented sophomore Kristina Vlcek led the way for the Lions as she tallied 20 points with 13 kills and four service aces to be named player of the match for York. Team captain Sarah Sutton followed with 11 points to her name and 15 digs.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams travelled to Ottawa to face the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton Ravens, two of the top basketball schools in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). Both Lions teams were overmatched by their more experienced counterparts: the men fell 91-82 to Ottawa and 99-53 to Carleton, and the women lost 79-50 and 91-43, respectively.

Rookie forward Dejan Kravic had a monster weekend with a combined 32 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks in the two games, to be named York’s male athlete of the week.

Several members of the York track & field team competed at the Sharon Anderson Memorial meet at the University of Toronto and combined to record 19 top-10 finishes. Sprinter Randolph Fajardo picked up two medals, winning the 60-metre dash and claiming bronze in the long jump. In women’s pole vault, reigning CIS champion Heather Hamilton captured the gold medal and rookie teammate Emma Crombeen picked up the silver with a personal-best jump.

Finally, the swimming team returned home from an intense two-week training camp in Puerto Rico on Saturday and travelled to Guelph for a meet on Sunday. Viktor Verblac collected three medals at the meet, winning gold in the 200m freestyle and 200-metre backstroke and silver in the 400-metre freestyle. Adam Vieira also made the podium with a third-place showing in the 400-metre individual medley.

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