CIS finals: Skeats leads Hawks over X-Women

ANTIGONISH, NS— Laurier’s Devon Skeats could not have picked a better time for the first hat trick of her university career.

The rookie forward scored all three of her team’s goals to lead the Golden Hawks to their first win of the 2010 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) finals, a 3-2 triumph over the host team, the St. F.X. X-Women.

“It’s just a great feeling to help my team out like that, especially being a rookie,” said Skeats, who was moved on to the top line with team captain Andrea Ironside and fellow rookie Candice Styles. “I was really pumped and ready to prove myself. To be on the top line with those two players beside me, it felt great.”

“I’m really happy for Devon,” added head coach Rick Osborne. “I’ve maintained from the beginning that the rookies we brought in this year would not be to rebuild, but to re-load, and I think today was a perfect example of that.”

After getting shut-out by the Alberta Pandas in their opening game of the tournament, the Hawks’ offensive woes appeared to carry over into this contest, as the teams were deadlocked 0-0 until late in the second period. Skeats would break the deadlock with three minutes left in the second frame, when she tipped a Maureen Mommersteeg point shot past St. F.X. goalie Katie Harvieux.

The Hawks went from mustering just 17 shots against Alberta to a 35 shot barrage versus St. F.X. According to Skeats, keeping Harvieux busy was a big part of the team’s rebound win.

“It was a complete turn around for sure,” she said. “We really tried to keep it simple and just get the puck to net.”

Abygail Laking would tie the game for the X-Women three minutes into the third period, but thanks to two more goals from Skeats, the Hawks found themselves up 3-1 with just over three minutes left in the game. Coming out of a time out, the X-Women would pull within one when Jenna Downey put a rebound past Laurier’s Liz Knox.

The Hawks would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game, however, as Osborne notes, that late goal could prove costly.

“I thought it was a good bounce back, but I’m a little disappointed with that last goal against,” he said. “We would have liked to have that two-goal spread with the potential tie-breaker that could loom after game three… but we’re happy with win, and we’re looking forward to watching the games tomorrow.”

Based on numerous tie-breaking procedures, the Hawks could still potentially play in any of the three final games on Sunday. Whether they will be playing for gold, bronze or fifth place ultimately hinges upon the outcome of tomorrow afternoon’s match-up between Alberta and St. F.X.

“Anything can still happen so it’s impossible to make a game plan,” said Osborne of the situation the Hawks find themselves in. “It’s tough, but we can’t blame anybody but ourselves. We could have easily had a two goal win tonight and we could’ve played better against Alberta. But we’ll take whatever comes our way and hopefully we’ll be playing for a medal of some colour.”

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