Scott Kirton netted a hat trick as the top-seeded University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeated the Western Mustangs 6-2 in playoff action on Tuesday night at Varsity Arena.
Kirton scored off a rebound in the first, on a penalty shot in the second, and added an empty net goal to lead the home side to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Chase Olsen, Joey Manchurek, and Ross Krieger also scored for Toronto (22-5-2) while Kevin Lavoie added two assists.
Kenny Huether and Kolten Olynek scored for the Mustangs (11-14-4) as Anthony Stefano tallied assists on both goals.
Toronto is now 3-0-1 against Western this season.
Kirton opened the scoring for the Varsity Blues as he buried the loose puck with just under two minutes remaining in the first period.
After Western tied the game, Toronto was able to regain its lead before the end of the second frame and never looked back thanks to Olsen who put home another loose puck with under five minutes to play.
Despite taking a penalty the Blues were able to extend their lead thanks to Kirton who scored on a penalty shot he earned by being taken down on a breakaway.
Manchurek was also able to get the OUA’s top-rated power play going as well as he netted his 15th goal of the season. Krieger and Kirton added empty net goals to seal the game for Toronto.
Huether and Olynek added their goals off rebounds that snuck by Blues’ second-year goalie Alex Bishop.
Bishop picked up his 20th win of the season with 37 saves on the night.