Rainsberry leads Hawks to victory
The Golden Hawks are soaring high. The women’s hockey team glided over the OUIT Ridgebacks 3-1 to open their season at home last Saturday night.
Playing a fully aggressive game, the Golden Hawks (6-0-0) piled on over 16 minutes in penalties, but held the visiting Ridgebacks (2-6-0) to one goal.
“I think it was really good that we overcame all of the penalties we had,” captain Abby Rainsberry said. “We did a really good job [on the PK]. ”
Rainsberry, a fourth-year kinesiology student, recorded her second and third goals of the season and is tied for most points on the No.3 nationally ranked team.
The second of Rainsberry’s goals came on a stellar shorthanded play late in the third period. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) had a 5-on-3 man-advantage when Alicia Martin passed the puck to Rainsberry who flipped it top corner, while falling to the ice.
Andrea Shapero also netted her third of the season early in the first period on UOIT netminder Jessica Larabie.
“[My line] had really good chemistry. It went from having a really good warm-up right into play and it’s starting to come along well.”
Goaltender Rachel Hamilton stopped 14 of 15 shots in Saturday’s match. Hamilton and Eria Thunder have been splitting the duties in net.
The Ridgebacks’ lone goal came from Niagara Falls native Vanessa
Johnstone midway through the third on a power play.
The Golden Hawks finished off their weekend with a home victory against their rival Queen’s Gaels 6-3. Paula Lagamba scored two goals and four other Hawks recorded singles in their sixth win.
Rainsberry is confident in the consistency and aggressive force of the Lady Hawks.
“I think we’ve been playing very consistent since the league started and it’s good to see that streak keep on going …. We have a lot of history with Queen’s and [we had] a lot to get back at them for.”
The Gaels vanquished the Hawks in their own building during the 2011 women’s hockey championships, when they knocked the purple and gold out of the Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) playoffs, and upset them in the national championships’ bronze medal game.
Laurier hopes to continue their perfect season when they make the trek to St. Catharines to visit the Brock Badgers Saturday night and then travel to Guelph to face the Gryphons Sunday afternoon.