Hockey undefeated in eight games

You know things are going well for your team when even your fiercest rival goes home without a point.

The Golden Gaels women’s hockey team extended their unbeaten streak this past weekend with a pair of victories over the U of T Varsity Blues. The streak is now at eight games following 2-1 and 4-3 wins on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The players came into the weekend with a sense of anticipation for the series, considering the rivalry that has built up over the past few years between the Gaels and the Blues. Their past six matchups have all been decided by one goal, with the last meeting in the 2005 playoffs won 2-1 by Toronto.

“Playing U of T is always a big game,” said Gaels alternate captain Miranda Costie. “Our team has a long history with them. Five years ago they seemed to have our number, but for the last three years both teams have been very competitive.”

The most notable difference from years past was the absence of Elizabeth Chiasson from Queen’s and Toronto’s Jacqueline Cherevaty, both graduated players. The two made headlines last season with their pursuit of the OUA all-time scoring title, a record eventually won and currently held by Chiasson.

Both teams have found other sources of scoring since their departure, but that was hardly evident through the first period of play on Saturday. Both goalies stole the show, with Claire Hunt for Queen’s and Lisa Robertson for Toronto each making spectacular point-blank saves on numerous occasions to keep the game scoreless.

The Blues dominated play through the first half of the second period, but again Hunt came up with big saves from close range to keep her team in the game.

Toronto drew first blood on a strange goal from Kristy Patterson just minutes into the third period. Patterson skated in on a partial breakaway and was stopped by Hunt, but managed to deflect the rebound out of mid-air and handcuff Hunt to give her team a 1-0 advantage.

Despite the Gaels’ best efforts, their offence could not muster any serious threats until they were given a power play midway through the third. Victoria Kaufmann took a swing at a puck stuck in traffic in front of the net and potted the fifth goal of her debut season.

Late in regulation, Toronto took yet another penalty and sent Queen’s to the power play to start the overtime period. Following some terrific puck movement, captain Molly Groenewegen dropped a pass to defender Amanda Stenson who shelved the puck high on Robertson for her third goal of the season, giving Queen’s the win.

Sunday’s game was a more offensive show, with Queen’s scoring early on a goal from Amanda Morra. Katie Dowdall tied up the game for Toronto, with Mary Modeste putting the Blues ahead with less than a minute to go in the second period.

Queen’s wasted no time coming back with one of their own, as Kauffman scored again to tie the game at two.

The Gaels carried this momentum into the third period, with Stenson and Andrea LeBlanc staking Queen’s to a 4-2 lead before the five-minute mark. Modeste brought Toronto within a goal, but the Gaels hung on for their second win over the Blues in as many days.

With her six goals on the season, Kauffman is now tied for fourth in the OUA in scoring, establishing an early bid for Rookie of the Year. Also having a great statistical year for the Gaels is goalie Hunt, who is now sixth in the CIS with a GAA of 1.26.

Costie was especially complimentary of Hunt’s play over the weekend.

“She [practically] stood on her head in the [Saturday] game and definitely kept us in there,” Costie said. “And in Sunday’s game she played amazing as well.”

With the two victories, Queen’s is now 7-2-1, and sitting in second place in the OUA. They travel to Brock and Laurier this weekend and will play their final game before the exam break on Dec. 3 at home against the Windsor Lancers.

Triathlon shines at Trent

•The Queen’s Triathlon team had a strong showing at the Trent Duathlon on Sunday. Leading the way for the women was Jennie Aitken, who won the women’s event, which consisted of a four-kilometre trail run, a 20-kilometre bike, and another four-kilometre trail run. Coach Catriona Jackson came in third in the same event. In the women’s rookie race—two-kilometre run, 20-kilometre bike, two-kilometre run—Keira Loukes won in her duathlon debut. Queen’s swept the rookie podium, with Shelly Kraus and Agatha Zachara finishing second and third respectively.

•For the men, Travis Cummings won the elite men’s open race in his duathlon debut. Cummings is a recent addition to the team who has run cross country for Queen’s. The Gaels won the silver as well, with Ruston Martin finishing second. The men also won a silver in the rookie race, with Jeff Norman coming from behind to place on the podium.

—With files from Travis Cummings

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