Women’s hockey clings to second place

Gaels split a pair of home games, hold spot by one point

Queen’s races Windsor for the puck at home on Sunday.
Queen’s races Windsor for the puck at home on Sunday.
Photo by Anne Kloosterman

The Queen’s women’s hockey team salvaged their weekend with a 4-2 win over the last-place Windsor
Lancers on Sunday. After being upset by the Lancers on Saturday 4-3, the Gaels bounced back to split the two-game home stand. With the win, Queen’s takes sole possession of second place in their division, only one point ahead of third-place Guelph.

In Saturday’s game against the Lancers, the Gaels found themselves tied 1-1 after the first period, and 2-2 after the second period, despite having 35 shots on goal compared to the Lancers’ 12.
Midway through the third period, the Lancers took a 3-2 lead and added an insurance marker shortly thereafter. With nine seconds remaining, the Gaels scored again but were unable to force overtime. “We may not have given them as much respect as they deserved,” head coach Harold Parsons said. “The parity in our league is incredible. They definitely don’t look like a team that’s last in the standings.
“And it’s a team that would be very difficult to play against if we played them in the playoffs,” he added.

Sunday afternoon, the Gaels returned to the ice for a second chance at the Lancers. Queen’s opened the scoring in the first period, and maintained the 1-0 lead into the second. Though there was action at both ends of the ice, Windsor scored two goals to Queen’s one, leaving the teams tied at two.

But this time, Queen’s was able to come away with the victory, scoring two goals in the third period for a 4-2 final. Windsor had their share of scoring chances in the third, but was stymied by goaltender Melissa John. Parsons said his team worked harder in the third period of this game than they did on Saturday. “We focused on our game plan, and basically it’s working hard and playing a system and letting goals happen when they can, but focusing on the defensive side, and today we did that in the third period,” Parson said. “Today our third and fourth line worked extremely hard, which is important for us to be successful,” he added.

The game on Sunday was physical with 36 penalty minutes assessed to players, including the ejection of a Windsor player for a check from behind. Queen’s was assessed 10 minutes in penalties.

“We’re having a hard time with respect to the understanding of exactly what’s being called, if it’s by the new rules, by the old rules, by what each individual ref wants to call,” Parsons said. “We had an
interesting weekend with respect to officiating, but that’s just the way it goes and it shouldn’t affect our play.”

Despite the second place standing, Parsons said that his team still needs to improve on several aspects of their game. “We’re still not moving the puck as quick as we’d like to,” he said. “But it’s coming.” Queen’s will resume play this Saturday with an important road game against Guelph.

The Gaels have two more home games remaining in their schedule on Feb. 2 and 4. “I hope that we get a lot of support in the last couple [home] games,” Parsons said.

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