Women’s hockey season comes to an end without a medal

(Photo by Shelby Blackley)

(Photo by Shelby Blackley)

FREDERICTON, N.B – It wasn’t the end they wanted at all.

It wasn’t even the performance they wanted, as the Wilfrid Laurier women’s hockey team dropped a 6-3 decision in the bronze medal game of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) against the Saskatchewan Huskies Sunday afternoon.

Laurier, who came in as the second seed, couldn’t move any pucks past the Huskies netminder Cassidy Hendricks and scrambled most of their possessions.

Even with eight man advantages, Laurier couldn’t take advantage – but the Huskies did, as they scored five powerplay goals en route to the bronze medal.

“It was just eerily similar to the first game against McGill where we had pucks lying around their net all game long and we just couldn’t get enough sticks on them in the blue paint,” said head coach Rick Osborne. “Today, with 42 shots, we had plenty of opportunities. We certainly were snake bitten and we were playing a really tough team. It was a battle of wills out there between two really tough teams and we came up short.”

In the first, second-year Robyn Degagne opened the scoring only six minutes in as she beat Hendricks to put the Hawks up.

However it wouldn’t last long, as on the powerplay Julia Flinton would put her first of three past rookie netminder Amanda Smith to tie it up going into the first intermission.

The second was a comedy of penalties for both teams, as Saskatchewan suffered four penalties to Laurier’s three, but nothing could be solved. Saskatchewan’s Flinton would put her second past Smith early in the period, before Laurier captain Laura Brooker would break through the zone alone on a four-on-four against Hendricks and put a beauty past to tie it up once again.

However, on the powerplay once again, Flinton would send a shot bar down to give the Huskies the lead going into the third.

Fifth-year Devon Skeats, in her last game as a Hawk, put one past Hendricks to tie it up once again.

But after that, it was all the Huskies. Three unanswered goals, two from Sara Greschner, including an empty netter by Marley Ervine, would give the bronze medal to Saskatchewan.

“The second period was a nightmare. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong,” Osborne said.

Laurier allowed the most goals they have all season in the CIS bronze medal game. Degagne and third-year Jessie Hurrell tied for most goals at two a piece.

Fifth-years Skeats and Candice Styles played their last game as a Golden Hawk, as they both graduate.

“It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Skeats said. “I need to say thanks to Rick. He provided me this opportunity, he’s been supporting me throughout these past five years and there’s no better school to be a part of than Laurier. I’m really proud to be a part of this process for the past five years and being a part of four nationals is something not a lot of players can say they’ve done. So I’m really happy about that.”

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