Rivalries heat up this weekend with visits from Toronto and Ryerson

Kelsey WebsterExciting Ontario University Athletics action can be found at the Tait McKenzie Centre and Canlan Ice Sports this weekend as the York Lions women’s hockey team and the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be continuing their regular-season schedules against crosstown rivals the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams.

Left: Lions’ Kelsey Webster (3)

The women’s hockey team has an exciting home-and-home series with the Varsity Blues (10-7-2) this weekend, beginning with a game at Canlan on Saturday at 2pm. The second game will be played at U of T on Sunday at 4pm.

The Lions moved up to No. 7 in the national rankings this week after another pair of victories last weekend improved their record to 13-5-1. With 27 points, the Lions are second in the standings, just one point behind the Queen’s University Gaels (13-4-2), with eight games left on the schedule.

The Lions ended an 11-game winless drought against Toronto two seasons ago and last year won two of the three meetings between the two teams. In their first matchup this year, the Lions crushed the Varsity Blues 5-1 at U of T.

For the second weekend in a row, a pair of basketball doubleheaders will take place at the Tait McKenzie Centre beginning on Friday evening, when the Lions welcome the Rams, and continuing on Saturday with games against the Varsity Blues. Tipoff for the women is set for 6pm and the men will follow at 8pm on both nights.

Left: Lions’ Malik Diaz-Mercurius (5)

Both Lions basketball teams recorded their second wins of the season last weekend with victories over the Royal Military College Paladins. The men (2-10) are four points out of a playoff spot but can still creep into the top six with strong performances down the stretch. The women (2-11) sit eight points back with eight games left.

This weekend’s games are the first of two between the Lions and their crosstown rivals. On the men’s side, both Toronto (6-6) and Ryerson (4-8) have struggled this season but currently hold down playoff positions. The Rams women’s team has posted an 8-6 record thus far to sit fourth in the standings while Toronto’s women are 6-8 and in sixth spot.

Tickets for all games are available at the door. York students are admitted free with presentation of their YU-card. Adults can purchase tickets for $8 and students and seniors for $5. Children 12 and under are free.

Competing on the road this weekend are the volleyball, track & field and men’s hockey teams. The Lions volleyball squads will be in Windsor to take on the Lancers on Saturday afternoon and in London for games against the Western Mustangs on Sunday. The men’s hockey team will also be in Windsor to face the Lancers in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. The track & field squad will be at the University of Toronto for the Fred Foot meet.

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