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Co-Captain Blair Connelly will play a big role in the Hawks upcoming playoff series with Toronto (Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
Co-Captain Blair Connelly will play a big role in the Hawks upcoming playoff series with Toronto (Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
WHKY renews playoff rivalry with Toronto

SERIES SCHEDULE (#2 Toronto vs #7 Laurier)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 24 - 7:30 p.m. - Varsity Arena, Toronto
Game 2 - Friday, February 26 - 7:30 p.m. - Waterloo Recreation Complex, Waterloo
Game 3 - Sunday, February 28 - 4 p.m. - Varsity Arena, Toronto*
*If Necessary

Tickets: Games 1 & 3 - varsityblues.ca or at the door, Game 2 - tickets.laurierathletics.com or at the door
Live Webcast: All games on OUA.tv
Live Audiocast: Game 2 on RadioLaurier.com

THE SKINNY
Competing in the OUA playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season, the seventh-seeded Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks will be aiming to upset a higher-seeded team for the second straight year as they take on the No. 4 Toronto Varsity Blues, the second seed in the conference, in their best-of-three OUA Quarter-final series.

SEASON SERIES
- the Hawks and Varsity Blues squared off twice this season with Toronto earning a regulation and an overtime victory
- in their first meeting, special teams played a key role in the victory as the Varsity Blues scored a powerplay marker and a shorthanded tally en route to a 3-1 win in Waterloo
- the second meeting between the two teams came just a week and a half ago with Toronto winning the game 2-1 thanks to a goal in 3-on-3 overtime

LAST PLAYOFF MEETING
- Laurier and Toronto last met in the playoffs back in 2013-14 when the two teams squared off in the OUA Semifinals
- Laurier won the series thanks to a pair of wins on home ice, including a 2-1 victory in the series-deciding game

KEYS TO THE SERIES
1. Veteran Top Lines
- Both Laurier and Toronto boast top lines that have plenty of playoff experience with the Hawks icing Jessie Hurrell, Robyn Degagne and Erika Kiviaho while the Blues counter with Taylor Day, Sonja Weidenfelder and Kristi Riseley
- both teams will be focusing on shutting down these lines so which ever group is able to establish an offensive presence first could help determine which way this series goes 

2. Capitalizing on Opportunities
- across the OUA this season, goals were at a premium and two of the better teams in the league at preventing goals are the Hawks and Blues
- Toronto ranked fifth in the OUA in goals against this season at 1.69 per game while the Hawks finished the year at 2.01 goals allowed
- with this in mind, both Laurier coach RICK OSBORNE and Toronto coach Vicky Sunohara will be preaching to their forward to bury scoring opportunities when they have them

3. Special Teams
- Toronto enters this series with an advantage on special teams as they finished the season first in the league in penalty killing at 91.3 percent while Laurier ranked 11th at 85.2 percent
- both teams had similar numbers in terms of power play goals this season (Toronto -15, Laurier - 11) so whichever team can break down the opposition penalty kill better in this series could come out on top

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 

F Jessie Hurrell (Palgrave, Ont.)
- the Hawks most dangerous offensive player, the fifth year forward finished her final season tied for 11th in OUA scoring with 20 points

D Blair Connelly (Amherstburg, Ont.)
- another one of the Hawks fifth year players, the defenceman logs big minutes for the purple and gold in all situations and can chip in on offence, finishing eighth in the OUA among defenceman with 10 points

Toronto Varsity Blues - No. 4 in Canada

F Taylor Day (Ilderton, Ont.)
- the fourth year forward finished tied for second in the OUA with 15 goals this season and was fourth in the conference in points with 25

F Sonja Weidenfelder (Toronto)
- the fifth year forward had the best season of her career in her final year with the Varsity Blues netting 11 goals and adding nine assists

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