Big win for women’s hockey

The Hawks won a big game against the first-place Queen's Gaels in a shootout. (Photo by Will Huang)
The Hawks won a big game against the first-place Queen’s Gaels in a shootout. (Photo by Will Huang)

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s hockey team took to the rink to host the first-place Queen’s Gaels Sunday afternoon, winning a back-and-forth affair 3-2 in a shootout.

Laurier set the tone early in the game when left wing Devon Skeats put one past the Gaels goaltender for her sixth goal of the season to take an early lead.

The Hawks continued to dominate the Gaels in the first, outshooting them 8-1 after 20 minutes.

“I think we started out great, played hard, we stuck to the game plan,” centre Robyn DeGagne said.

The second period was much different than the first, with Queen’s taking the reins and giving rookie goaltender Amanda Smith some work.

The Gaels managed to tie the game nearing the end of the second period, capitalizing on a power play and making the score 1-1.

Head Coach Rick Osborne commented on the Hawks play through the second period.

“We looked soft on a number of occasions, and I don’t like getting outplayed that badly,” he said.

“Unfortunately for us, we got a lot of practice in the second period with bending without breaking, and we did that well. Too much time bending without breaking, but we did it well.”

The final period saw both teams take some good chances, with the Gaels holding onto the shot advantage and finishing strong.

Queen’s managed to take the lead halfway into the third period, but the Hawks evened the score in the dying seconds when rookie defenceman Montana Merante took the feed from centre Heather Platt to put it past the Gaels goaltender, sending the game into overtime.

Overtime solved nothing, and so a shootout was needed to decide a victor.

Both goaltenders remained solid until the fourth round when DeGagne beat the Gaels goaltender to capture Laurier’s sixth win of the season, winning the game 3-2.

Although it was not the Hawks best performance of the season, Osborne is confident that Laurier can take some pointers from this game to move forward.

“Our d-zone coverage was the strength that we’ll take out of today’s game, and we will now look at finding ways to get the puck deep and do more forechecking.”

When looking ahead, Osborne answered that success for the Hawks falls on three key factors.

“Moving forward, races, battles, competitiveness,” he explained. “The tradition of the Golden Hawks hockey team is, ‘we win races, we win battles and we compete our asses off.’”

Likewise, DeGagne agreed that those three factors were what she was planning to work on next.

“[We’re] definitely going to improve on races and battles, that’s something I can definitely work on, and faceoffs.”

Laurier currently sits in fourth place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference, and will go on the road next weekend to face two teams new to OUA hockey, the Laurentian Lady Vees Saturday night in North Bay and the Nipissing Lakers on Sunday night.

Both games start at 7 p.m.

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