Close game slips by Gaels

Hockey drops 2-0 lead to tie Laurier; beat York in Toronto

On Friday, the sixth-ranked women’s hockey team challenged provincial leaders, the Laurier Golden Hawks, in a close game but couldn’t hold on for the win.

The team beat the York Lions in Toronto the next day. In Friday’s game, Queen’s got early goals from first-year forwards Kelsey Thomson and Becky Conroy, but Laurier battled back to earn a 2-2 tie.

“It was great because I was playing on a new line, and we’re really starting to click,” Conroy said.
Thomson said she was pleased the team got on the board early. “It was good because we had them up 2-0 right away. We had them on their heels, and that’s where we’ll hope to get them in the OUA final too.”

Rookie goalie Katie Boyd put in a stellar performance in net for the Gaels, racking up 46 saves. “It was good to play the first-place team and really get a lotof work in. It’s more exciting for me as a goalie to play one of the top-ranked teams and have a lot to do,” she said. “It’s easy to stay focused on the game.” Boyd said coming away from a tough game without a win is a letdown.

“[I was] a little disappointed that we didn’t win, because we played kind of well enough to win, and the goals that Laurier scored were not the most skilled. I think they caught a few lucky bounces, but we definitely played well enough to win.” Head coach Harold Parsons said he felt his team had the opportunity to win.

“It was the first game that we really competed against Laurier and felt that we could have beat them.”
On Saturday, the Gaels faced a significantly lower calibre opponent in the York Lions, currently in last place in the province. Queen’s again came out strong, taking a 2-0 lead on goals from Elizabeth Kench and Keri Baker, but couldn’t hold it. York scored in the second period to make it 2-1, and then tied the game in the first minute of the third. But the Gaels quickly regrouped, and Kench notched her second goal of the game to secure a 3-2 victory. Parsons praised the efforts of the team over the two days, saying, “Our power play is improving, our defence continues to improve and move the puck, and we got solid goaltending in both games.” He said there will be some adjustments made, but that the
team’s competitive instinct is a great asset.

The Gaels will host the Western Mustangs tonight at 7:30 in Jock Harty in the second annual Boys
and Girls Club Cup. On Saturday they will skate in the Hockey Challenge and Skate-a-Thon.

They will challenge local police, firefighters and other community members in a skills competition at Jock Harty from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. By collecting pledges, the team has raised more than $4,000 for
the Youth Diversion Program and the Boys and Girls Club. The crucial part of the weekend will be Sunday afternoon’s clash with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at 2 p.m. The Blues are currently two points behind Queen’s in the race for the second seeding in the OUA playoffs.

If Queen’s finishes second, they will earn a first-round bye. Sunday’s contest will be their last regular season game in Jock Harty Arena.

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