Hawks drop heartbreaker in bronze medal game

The Queen’s Gaels and the Laurier Golden Hawks can’t seem to do anything the easy way.

After their OUA semifinal which saw both games go to double-overtime and Queen’s pull of the upset win, two weeks ago they met in the CIS bronze medal game on Sunday afternoon. And once again these teams did not make things easy on each other, themselves or their fans.

On this night, it was once again not an easy game to win for the Gaels and and even less easy game to lose for the Hawks as Queen’s claimed the national bronze medal with a 1-0 win.

“You really can’t overlook the excitement of the game, it was two good teams that put on a great show,” said Laurier head coach Rick Osborne. “And I really thought our players left it all out there.”

This game bore eerie similarities to the game two of the OUA semifinal, which clinched the series for the Gaels. Both goalies were spectacular, Laurier had a penalty shot and failed to score, and in the end a Queen’s goal that barely got past Laurier’s Liz Knox proved to be the difference.

The goaltenders were easily the biggest story of this game. Knox and Queen’s Mel Dodd-Moher were locked in a goaltenders duel that kept the game scoreless for 58 of the game’s 60 minutes. Knox would 26 of the 27 shots she faced, while Dodd-Moher stopped all 33 of the Hawks’ attempts, including a second period penalty shot from rookie Andrea Shapero.

“She’s a great young goalie,” said Knox of her Queen’s counterpart. “She’s got a bright future ahead of her and I’m looking forward to seeing her develop as a player. They’ll definitely be relying on her over the next few seasons.”

Kerstin van Bolderen scored the goal the broke the Hawks’ hearts with just 1:51 on the clock as she took a pass on her backhand from Morgan McHaffie and tucked it past Knox.

“I give her full credit,” said Osborne of van Bolderen’s improbable goal. “We had her on her backhand, you’ve got Liz Knox in net, she had to be tired. You just had to think ‘wow this has truly been a season of destiny for them.'”

This marks the first CIS medal for the Gaels, as this was their first appearance at the women’s hockey national championship. For the Hawks, this year marks the first time since 2003-04 that they failed to win a medal at nationals.

This game ended the careers of both Knox and defencemen Erin Weber. According to Osborne fourth-year Heather Fortuna is likely to return next season, while he didn’t comment on the team’s other fourth-years: defenceman Alicia Martin and forward Katherine Shirriff.

Look for the full article and a lot more coverage of the 2011 CIS women’s hockey championship in Wednesday’s edition of The Cord

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