Crushing 1-0 loss ends Hawks’ season

(Photo by Kate Turner).

(Photo by Kate Turner).

Time wound down on the Wilfrid Laurier women’s hockey team’s season the first time when the Western Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the series.

And in the final five minutes of the deciding game three of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) semifinal, the Hawks again saw the clock tick to the end. Except this time, when the clock expired, it meant the end of their season.

The Mustangs defeated the Hawks 1-0 Sunday evening to take the series 2-1 and advance to the OUA finals against the Queen’s Gaels. Laurier’s season comes to a close and for the first time since 2002-03, the WLU women’s hockey team will not be going to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships.

“My hats go off to them. It’s their party tonight,” said head coach Rick Osborne after the game.

In a very close affair that had the shots 30-29 in favour of Western and five Laurier penalties in the first period, both teams kept a high tempo. Laurier spent half of the first period on the penalty kill, where second-year Erika Thunder would muster up 14 saves to keep the game scoreless.

Laurier only had three shots on net in the first 20 minutes.

In the second period, Laurier was able to find some comfort, throwing 17 shots on Western netminder Kelly Campbell while holding the Mustangs to seven. However, the game remained scoreless.

With end-to-end action and multiple opportunities for both teams, it was not until there was five minutes left in the third period that Western was able to solve Thunder. A bounce off the end boards came out in front of the Hawks’ net and second-year Kendra Deller was in the right place at the right time and found the mesh.

That would be the deciding goal as the Hawks couldn’t muster another opportunity against Campbell and the Mustangs in the final minutes.

“The third period we were playing a 0-0 game and you’re playing for one bounce,” Osborne said. “We had a ton of bounces around their net. They’ve got a great team and a great goaltender and they got the bounce and made it pay off.”

Laurier will graduate fifth-year Caitlin Muirhead and fourth-years Fiona Lester, Brittany Crago, Paula Lagamba and Maureen Mommersteeg.

 

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