Women bounce back strong

The Wilfrid Laurier University women’s hockey team’s power play units are clicking.

Photo by Shelby Blackley
Photo by Shelby Blackley

The Wilfrid Laurier University women’s hockey team’s power play units are clicking.

The Hawks had a three-point weekend as they lost 5-4 in overtime against Ontario University Athletics championship rival the Queen’s Gaels, but bounced back on Sunday, winning in a convincing manner against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks by a score of 5-1, improving their overall record to 7-3-2.

Over the weekend, the Hawks scored four power play goals on seven opportunities and killed six out of eight penalties, which was good for 57 per cent on the power play and 75 per cent on the penalty kill. Brooker also added a shorthanded goal to open up the scoring versus the Ridgebacks.

“It’s really good because that can be the difference most games,” said head coach Rick Osborne.

“Our power play, over the years if you look back, it’s been a little rough on the rocks, but this year [Laura] McIntosh, our assistant coach has been helping each line develop something,” said fifth-year captain Laura Brooker. “As a team we feel more confident this year on the power play, no matter the line and no matter who you’re playing with, we seem to have more confidence.”

Over the weekend, multiple players had a multi-point weekend. Brooker scored three goals and added two assists in both games, whereas fourth-year Jessie Hurrell had a goal and an assist.

After the loss, Osborne decided to shake up the lines, putting Hurrell, Brooker and Dollee Meigs on the same line, which proved to be a catalyst, as the trio combined for five points in their win against the Ridgebacks. Osborne was impressed with the way both Brooker’s and Platt’s line played during the game.

“It really gave us a good one-two punch,” he said.

Not only was the matchup against Queen’s a rematch of the OUA final, but for some Hawks it meant the return of a familiar face to the ice. Fiona Lester, who was once the captain of the Hawks in the 2013-14 season, was playing against the purple and gold.

“Fiona is a good, classy kid and she’s such a hard worker, and that is kind of the foundation of our own team’s success, is the work ethic we have. I thought there was some pretty good matchups between Brooker and Lester on the line,” Osborne said.

Lester used to play for the Hawks as a defender, but switched positions and now plays as a centre for the Gaels. Brooker and Osborne both joked about seeing her on the opposite end of the ice.

“We joke around with her, saying ‘you look better in purple and yellow,’ ” Brooker said. “It’s definitely different seeing them on another team. But understand that they didn’t choose it on purpose, they are there for schooling and you wish them the best that they do well in hockey and in school.”

“She gave us four great years at Laurier and she never took a shift off of practice or in games so, I wish her nothing but the best against all teams, except for Laurier,” Osborne said.

Next Friday, the Hawks will showdown against their crosstown rivals, the Waterloo Warriors. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

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