Hockey beats the Blues

Women look to earn bye through first round of playoffs

Women’s hockey was upset by Western Friday but bounced back to beat Toronto Saturday.
Women’s hockey was upset by Western Friday but bounced back to beat Toronto Saturday.
Jackie Alvarez
The Gaels are on the road this weekend to play Waterloo.
The Gaels are on the road this weekend to play Waterloo.
Jackie Alvarez

Despite a disappointing loss to the Western Mustangs at home on Friday night in a 5-3 decision, the
Queen’s Golden Gaels women’s hockey team rebounded on Sunday to notch a vital 3-1 win over the
University of Toronto, ranked third in the provincce, inching closer to securing a first-round bye in
the playoffs.

“We outshot a team by quite a margin and weren’t able to win,” head coach Harold Parsons said
of Friday’s game. Queen’s outshot Western 56-36.

“Most of our losses this year are similar to that.” While Queen’s is higher in the standings, the Mustangs looked like the better team on Friday night. Western scored within the first minute and never lost the lead, holding a two-goal lead after the first period and a three-goal lead after the second.

Gaels’ captain Miranda Costie said the team didn’t lose faith after the tough loss to Western.

“What I always like to think is that, even though we do lose, and it was a tough loss, we have to pull
the positives out of that.” She added that a team meeting last Saturday helped to drive that message home. On Sunday, it became clear the meeting had the desired effect.

Queen’s opened the scoring within the first two minutes on an unassisted goal from Elizabeth Kench. Kench extended the team’s lead with a second goal later in the period. Costie added the final goal on a powerplay in the dying minutes of the second period with a backhand shot. “Scoring in the last minute … is huge,” Costie said. “We always say two-goal leads are the hardest to keep, so the third goal was a key goal. I felt it really took a lot of wind out of Toronto.”

The third period saw an official shot tally of 21 to 4 in favour of Toronto. Costie cautioned against
reading too much into the statistic. “I didn’t feel like we were outshot,” she said. “I didn’t feel like we were outplayed.” Toronto narrowed the deficit in the third period with a contentious goal.

“That goal shouldn’t have counted,” Costie said. “It was a high stick.”

Queen’s had a goal called back in the third period, but still held on or the victory.

“I’m really happy [with] the way the team responded against Toronto when they really had to,” Parsons said. Perhaps the most important thing for the Gaels was that their offensive production didn’t stall in either game. Since the winter wreak, Queen’s has been held to fewer than three goals in a game only once. Costie said she couldn’t see one single factor as the cause. “I couldn’t say it’s one particular thing, but we’ve been able to bring our practices into games,” she said. “If people were to come and watch us when we’re in practice, it’s unbelievable.” Parsons said the power play was one of the most important components to the team’s offensive achievements.

“We feel that we’re a threat now anytime we’re on the power play,” he said.

Queen’s is on the road for its final four regular season games, starting with two games in Waterloo
this weekend.

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