Recurring results for women’s hockey team

Men’s hockey earns weekend road wins over UOIT, York

Queen’s goalie Katie Boyd challenges Windsor forward Candace Rapchak with defender Katie Duncan in pursuit. The Gaels lost to the Lancers 3-1 on Saturday.
Queen’s goalie Katie Boyd challenges Windsor forward Candace Rapchak with defender Katie Duncan in pursuit. The Gaels lost to the Lancers 3-1 on Saturday.
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It was déjà vu for the women’s hockey team this weekend as they took on the Western Mustangs and the Windsor Lancers. The Gaels repeated the tie and loss they suffered against the same teams on the previous weekend.

Head coach Rob Lalonde said the team needs to work on their fundamentals.

“I find we don’t do some of the simple things well,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t stick with our game plan of going to the net hard and creating more scoring chances.”

Friday night, the Gaels faced off against the Mustangs at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee. Queen’s got off to an early start as Victoria Kaufmann scored her second goal of the season with assists from linemates Cassie Sparks and Liz Kench.

Western soon responded, tying the game on a second-period power play. The game finished 1-1 and was the second tie the teams played to in two weeks.

The Gaels took on Windsor at the Memorial Centre Saturday night, where they had suffered a 1-0 loss to the Lancers in their season opener a week before.

They got off to a strong start just over a minute into the game when Kaufmann won a battle for the puck in the corner and set up Sparks in front, who backhanded the puck past Windsor netminder Jamie Tessier.

The Lancers tied the score on a power-play goal midway through the first period and scored the game-winner off a rebound in the second. Windsor scored an empty-net goal with four seconds to go in the third to make the score 3-1.

Sparks, the Gaels’ captain, said the team was disappointed with their performance in the weekend’s games.

“The whole team is a little frustrated,” she said. “We’re in a little bit of a rut right now, and it’s hard getting out of it. We were just one step behind them.”

Queen’s special teams struggled on the weekend. The power play failed to score in 14 attempts and gave up several strong shorthanded chances, while the penalty-killing unit gave up two power-play goals on just seven opportunities.

Sparks said the power-play unit needs to settle down.

“Maybe we need to just be more relaxed and take our time,” she said. “We have two minutes; there’s no sense rushing it.”

One bright spot for the Gaels was their goalies’ performance. Melissa John made 18 saves against Western, while Katie Boyd stopped 31 shots against the Lancers.

Boyd said the team feels they can play better.

“We’re definitely not living up to our potential, and we haven’t all year,” she said. “We haven’t been able to put together a good period yet. It’s something we’re going to work on.” Next week, the team goes on the road to face the Guelph Gryphons and the Brock Badgers.

Lalonde said the road trip should help the Gaels.

“I’m looking forward to getting on the road,” he said. “Maybe that’s what these girls need. We need to get on the road and do a little bonding, and see what it’s like playing on the road, going into someone else’s building and taking it to them.”

The men’s team had more success on their weekend road trip, beating the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks 3-2 in a shootout on Friday and defeating the York Lions 2-1 in overtime Saturday.

Head coach Brett Gibson said the Gaels could have won both games in regulation time. “Both games were character wins in extra time, but we had the opportunity to win both games in regulation,” he said.

Brady Olsen had three goals for the Gaels, including two third-period markers Friday night and the overtime winner Saturday.

Olsen said the goals’ timing was more important than

scoring them.

“It was nice to score, but the impact it had made it even better,” he said.

The team stepped it up in the third period of both games, Olsen said.

“The sense of urgency made it a little different.” Olsen said the team’s discipline was the difference between this weekend’s wins and their opening-night loss to Western.

“We didn’t take as many penalties at crucial points in the game,” he said. “I felt that that was the turning point.”

Team captain Jeff Ovens said the wins were a sign of the team’s progress.

“It’s a great start, and hopefully something that we can continue over the next few weeks.” Ovens said Friday’s win was special as it came in the Ridgebacks’ first-ever OUA game.

“It was a great atmosphere,” he said. “We knew that they were going to come out strong for the first 10-15 minutes, and we knew if we could weather that storm we’d be in a good position.”

Ovens said the team still has work to do.

“We need to, as a team, learn how to play a full 60-minute game and figure out how to come out strong,” he said.

The men’s team will host Brock Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Napanee and Guelph Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the Memorial Centre. Queen’s hasn’t beaten either team since the 2004-05 season.

Gibson said the weekend’s matchups will serve as a measuring stick for the team.

“Brock and Guelph are coming off a very strong start, and we are too,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting to see.”

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