Gaels find scoring touch after loss

Women split double header, secure place in Ontario’s top three

Despite outscoring their opponent 8-4, the women’s hockey team could only win one of two games against the York Lions at home last weekend.

“Obviously we felt we should’ve won both games,” head coach Harold Parsons said. The Gaels lost Saturday’s game 3-2 before bouncing back to crush the Lions 6-1 in the following day’s contest. The Gaels record now stands at 7-3, with two overtime losses, putting them in third place in the province.

The Gaels quickly fell behind in game one as York’s Autumn Mills and Michelle Daniels scored early in the first period. With 90 seconds left in the second, Queen’s Rebecca Conroy narrowed the deficit, but York’s Kaylee Black scored in the third period to extend the lead to 3-1.

In the final minutes of the third period, Keri Baker scored her fourth goal of the season for Queen’s to bring the Gaels within one But it wasn’t enough and the game ended 3-2 in favour of York.

Melissa John recorded 25 saves in the loss, and Queen’s outshot their opponents 32-28.

Parsons said he doesn’t hold John accountable for the loss.

“The fact is we outplayed them, we just couldn’t score the first day,” he said. “Melissa made a number of good saves.” In the second game, Gaels’ goaltender Katie Boyd replaced Melissa John in the Gaels net, but Parsons said the switch had little to do with the previous day’s loss.

“The fact that we went with Katie the next day wasn’t a reflection on how Mel played.”

The Gaels found the scoring touch that had eluded them in the first game. The six goals were scored by six different players, with the Gaels once again out shooting York 46-26.

Alison Bagg, Rebecca Conroy, Victoria Kaufman, Elizabeth Kench, Mary McNeill, and Cassandra Sparks lit the lamp for Queen’s. Katie Boyd recorded 25 saves in the win, improving her record to 6-1-0 and lowering her goals-against average to an exceptional 1.55, good for third in Ontario.

The win cemented Queen’s place in the top three teams in the province.

The Gaels have a game in hand on second-place Guelph and are just four points behind first-place Laurier. Nonetheless, many of the team’s wins in the first half of the season were low-scoring. Parsons said he saw those narrow wins as key to the good start the team has had.

“It’s the fact that we have not been scoring a lot of goals and we’ve been playing really good team defence,” he said.

But Parsons still believes his team can score more goals.

“We have too much talent not to score four or five goals a game,” he said, adding that the 1-0 and 2-1 wins were still great learning experiences.

The Gaels will close out the first half of the season Saturday in Windsor against the last-place Lancers.

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