Back on track after losing streak

Team beats Brock Badgers on Sunday for first win since Jan. 3

The Guelph Gryphons beat the Gaels 4-0 on Saturday.
The Guelph Gryphons beat the Gaels 4-0 on Saturday.
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The women’s hockey team’s losing streak reached four games after Saturday’s 4-0 home loss to the Guelph Gryphons — but the Gaels bounced back to beat the Brock Badgers 3-2 on Sunday in their first win since Jan. 3.

“Sometimes, it takes a couple tough losses to remind you of just how hard you have to work,” head coach Matt Holmberg said, adding that he hopes the win will spark a turnaround similar to last season’s.

After an 8-1 loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks in January 2010, the Gaels won eight of their last nine regular season games en route to an OUA Championship title.

On Saturday, the Gaels couldn’t find the back of the Gryphon’s net, despite six power-play opportunities.

“There were a couple opportunities where our power play could have brought us back in the game,” Holmberg said. “But not only could we not muster shots, we had trouble just getting out of our own zone.”

The loss to the second-place Gryphons narrows the Gaels’ chances at a first-round playoff bye — with only six regular-season games remaining, Queen’s is six points back.

“I know we have the potential to belong in the same sentence as [Guelph],” Holmberg said after Saturday’s loss. “[But] we have to pick it up.”

On Sunday, that’s exactly what they did.

The Gaels jumped out to a two-point lead with goals scored under a minute apart from defender Kelly Eustace and captain Shawna Griffin.

Holmberg said the early lead gave his team some much-needed confidence.

“We’ve had a couple games recently where we had a good first period but we were down 1-0,” he said. “It was nice to see things go in our favour.”

The Badgers erased the Gaels’ lead with two early third-period goals, but Griffin notched her second goal of the game to clinch the win. Karissa Savage started for the Gaels and made 35 saves.

Winger Brittany McHaffie is still out with an injured knee and it’s uncertain when she’ll return to the lineup. Holmberg said the offence has suffered without her.

The win and the loss leave the Gaels in third place, only two points ahead of the York Lions and the Toronto Varsity Blues. They head out on a two-game road trip this weekend to play the Western Mustangs on Saturday and the Windsor Lancers on Sunday.

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