Laurier women’s hockey move to 20-0

Last weekend may have been different than the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ women’s hockey team is used to, but the end result was the same as usual, as the purple and gold added another win to their record, improving to 20-0.

The Hawks were first thrown off on Friday night when their match-up with the Windsor Lancers was postponed; a scheduling error by the referees resulted in no officiating crew being present at game time.

After a half-hour delay, the two head coaches – Laurier’s Rick Osborne and Windsor’s Jim Morris – made the mutual decision to postpone the game to a later date.

On Saturday afternoon, the Hawks came out on top 2-1 over the Western Mustangs; however, the team had to overcome a rare early goal as they fell behind 1-0 just over a minute into the game.

“I was puzzled at the end of the first period,” said Osborne. “We weren’t moving our feet, we weren’t moving the puck, I’ve never seen so many of our players have heavy legs. I would say that was our worst period of the year.”

The Hawks went to the dressing room down 1-0 after a first period in which they were completely outplayed by the Mustangs, only mustering three shots.

“It was a very quiet dressing room [after the first period],” said Osborne. “But it got a little nosier once I arrived and I think we picked it up in the second.”

In the second period, the purple and gold looked a lot more like a second nationally ranked team, and tied the game just over 10 minutes in, when veteran Katherine Shirriff in, when veteran Katherine Shirriff scored her ninth goal of the season.

“When we got that first goal it really turned things around,” said Hawks’ captain Andrea Ironside. “I think it was clear to everyone that we needed to step it up, and we really got going in the second.”

The Hawks would get the game-winning goal with two seconds left in the second period when a Mustangs’ defender inadvertently knocked a shot from Laurier rookie Devon Skeats into the Western net.

“That was a tough break for them,” said Osborne. “[Western] is fighting for a playoff spot and they really came to play today, so you have to give them a lot of credit. They really forced us out of our comfort zone.”

This game was truly an anomaly for the purple and gold, as this was only the fourth time all season that they’ve found themselves behind a game. However, according to Ironside, rolling over the competition isn’t always ideal.

“It’s always nice to overcome a little bit of adversity, especially coming down the stretch,” she said. “It’s nice to know that we can go down early like that and stay composed and come back and get the win…. No game’s a walk in the park, no matter who you’re playing.”

The Hawks’ next test will come tonight in the form of an exhibition game in Toronto against the Chinese Olympic team. They will resume regular season play this weekend with a pair of road games against Brock and Guelph.

“We have three really tough tests coming up and that should get us back on track,” said Osborne. “By this time next week I think we’ll be back to playing like we usually do.”

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