Huge win to start the year

Women’s hockey opened up 2015 with a 6-0 thumping of the York Lions

Photo by Danny Guo
Photo by Danny Guo

On Jan. 9, the Wilfrid Laurier University women’s hockey team sought a strong start to the second half of the season after finding themselves in an unfamiliar position coming into the holiday break.

In a span of one minute and 36 seconds, the Hawks found the start they were looking for, scoring three goals in the second period as they toppled the York Lions on home ice to pick up their season 6-0. They now improve to 8-4-3.

After sweeping the Concordia tournament in the beginning of January, the Hawks were hoping to carry that momentum moving forward into the second half of conference play.

Ending the first half of the season with a 7-4-3 conference record, they treaded in unfamiliar territory, as they usually find themselves near the top of the standings.

But that would not deter them from finishing their mission.

“Our focus and our process now is to make the next shift every shift as strong as possible,” said head coach Rick Osborne.

“We’ve never been in this spot at this time and we’re not going to rest until the mission is complete.”

Fourth-year defenseman Blair Connelly got the offence started in the second period with a crisp, clean pass and play that found her in the slot.

She powered the puck past the York goaltender for her first tally of the season. She also added the sixth and final game-winning goal.

Second-year forward Dollee Meigs and fourth-year Megan Howe added their own markers in that span to grab a 3-0 lead.

The Hawks didn’t look back, as ten players picked up a point during the contest.

Fourth-year Jessie Hurrell and fifth-year Tammy Freiburger added one goal each to secure the win.

Second-year goaltender Amanda Smith picked up her second shutout of the season on Friday.

“We didn’t think we played that well in the first half of the season and the group is really determined to turn that around.” Osborne said.

“We looked like we’ve gotten better every single game since the end of the first half and tonight, I liked our awareness around the net, I liked our killer instinct and I liked the way we shook their goalie.”

The game against York also marked the first game that Connelly wore the “C” on her jersey at home.

She was transitioning to the leadership role while playing on the road.

According to Connelly, she found it easier for her to transition into the leadership role by being able to watch over the other team leaders during her four years playing for the Hawks.

She also found that it was easier to adapt into the leadership role because she previously shared the captain responsibilities with fifth-year Laura Brooker and was able to work collaboratively alongside her before she leaves for the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Winter Universiade.

“I just find having both of us wear it is very nice because it can take the pressure off a single person and we can work as a team and contribute together leadership-wise,” she said.

The Golden Hawks head north next weekend as they face off against the Nipissing Lakers and the Laurentian Voyageurs. Puck drops at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17.

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