Veterans lead women’s hockey offence

(Photo by Kate Turner)

The No. 5 ranked Wilfrid Laurier women’s hockey team ended their weekend on a high note after defeating the Ryerson Rams 6-2 and the Toronto Varsity Blues 3-2 in back-to-back games.

The Hawks are now tied for first place in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) with the Queen’s Gaels. Both teams hold a record 10-1-1, with 21 points. The teams have also both scored 45 goals in 12 games.

However, according to head coach Rick Osborne, Laurier is still showing some on-ice inconsistency.

“Tonight we were a little offensively challenged for a long time,” he said after Sunday’s match. “We certainly do it the hard way some nights.”

The Ryerson game Sunday night, although providing a 6-2 blowout, did not see much action until the third period.

“We’ve kind of been leaving it a bit close up until now,” centre Brittany Crago said. “It’s good to get a good spread going.”

Fourth-year Devon Skeats scored within the first few minutes for the Hawks, bringing her goal tally to eight.

Seconds later however, Ryerson’s Monique Conrett evened the score.

“In a one goal game it doesn’t matter if you’ve got 40 shots and they’ve got 15,” Osborne said when reflecting on the amount of shots on Ryerson’s Brianna Tremblay. “If it’s still a one goal game, the momentum can change so quickly.”

Penalties would also be a contributing factor that prevented the Hawks from further scoring. The Hawks spent 10 minutes out of the second 20-minute period shorthanded.

“We ran into another silly penalty that put us down,” Osborne said. “I’m not sure that some of our on-ice decisions were letter-perfect just yet.”

Saturday night’s game against Toronto saw a bit more excitement. A goal with three minutes remaining from rookie Emily Kekewich gave the Hawks a much-needed win.

The game-winner would also be Kekewich’s first goal in a Laurier uniform and set the tone for the Hawks’ Sunday blowout.

“For the season I feel like its been an improvement every single game,” Crago says. “We’ve finally caught some offence.”

Goals from Fiona Lester, Jessie Hurrell, Tammy Freiburger and Brittany Crago on Sunday added momentum to the Hawks offensive lineup.

Hurrell racked up two goals against Ryerson while Crago managed a three-point game.

“You can see the players in the back-to-back games that we really need to rely on,” Osborne explained. “I believe the team is slowly but surely getting into that level where we’re going to perform.”

“We all have our contribution of what we think we need to be doing on the ice.” Skeats said. “We’ve got to make sure we capitalize and go from there.”

Laurier’s hockey team may be showing favourable results, but their statistics are not quite matching up to Osborne’s expectations.

“We’re not where we want to be,” he said. “We’ve got plenty to work on but plenty of time to get it done.”

With that, the Hawks look towards their next game, a home date with the Waterloo Warriors this Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

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