CIS finals: Hawks to play for bronze

ANTIGONISH, NS— As a result of the Alberta Pandas 2-0 win over the St. F.X. X-Women, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s hockey team will find themselves playing in the bronze medal game on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks finished the round robin with a record of 1-1, losing to the Pandas on Thursday and defeating the X-Women on Friday. The Pandas took top spot in Pool B at 2-0, followed by the Hawks and the X-Women, who posted an 0-2 record.

While bronze obviously isn’t the colour of medal the Hawks set out for at this tournament, considering the fact that they came into Saturday with the possibility of playing for fifth place, head coach Rick Osborne is relieved to have the chance to play a meaningful final game.

“It’s definitely a good feeling to be able to play for a medal,” said Osborne. “Obviously we would have liked it to be gold, but we’re much happier playing for bronze than to have everything come down to a tiebreaker like a coin flip and have us stuck in the fifth-place game.”

Battling the Hawks for the bronze medal will be the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) champion St. Mary’s Huskies. The Huskies also went 1-1 in the round robin, defeating the Montreal Carabins 4-2 and losing to the two-time defending champion McGill Martlets 7-2.

According to Osborne, overcoming the Huskies will be as simple as the Hawks playing to their strengths.

“Our speed is going to be the key to us winning tomorrow,” he said. “If we play at the pace that we’ve played at for most of the season, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.

The bronze medal game will be the final game at Laurier for fifth-years Kate Psota, Vanessa Bennett and Andrea Ironside. It will also likely be a farewell for fourth-years Liz Knox, Laura Bartolini and Stephanie Crarey. Due to the players finishing their careers, this game should be an emotional affair.

“We have a few players who will be playing in their last games, so I know they’ll be giving absolutely everything the have every shift,” said Osborne. “And I know that the rest of the team will rally around them and make sure that they leave [Laurier] on a good note.”

The game will be broadcast live at 2:00pm Atlantic time (1:00 pm Eastern time) on the Streaming Sports Network of Canada (ssncanada.com).

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