Hawks soar over Gaels

Women’s hockey gets shut out by Laurier on Saturday, but rebounds to smother Waterloo on Sunday at the Memorial Centre

Gaels goaltender Katie Boyd makes one of 21 saves in her shutout against Waterloo on Sunday.
Gaels goaltender Katie Boyd makes one of 21 saves in her shutout against Waterloo on Sunday.
Supplied Photo by Michael Parkinson

After two season-opening road trips, the Queen’s women’s hockey team made their home-ice debut last weekend and came away with a win and a loss. The Gaels dropped a 2-0 decision Saturday to the number-three Laurier Golden Hawks, the top-ranked team in the OUA, but rebounded for a 4-0 defeat over the Waterloo Warriors Sunday.

Head coach Harold Parsons said he saw two different Queen’s teams take the ice over the weekend.

“We weren’t happy with our game against Laurier,” he said. “We could have played better, there was something more that our team was capable of. Once we got onto Sunday the pressure wasn’t there to play against a top team. Our players were relaxed and showed what they can do.” Parsons said he’s optimistic Saturday’s game against Laurier can be used as a learning experience for the rest of the season.

“One of the biggest lessons that we were provided with this weekend was that you do not have much time with the puck,” he said. “They took away our space and our players weren’t able to make that extra move or that extra play,” he said.

Queen’s has received stellar goaltending this season from Melissa John and Katie Boyd. Appearing in three games each, they have combined for three shutouts and an impressive 1.51 goals against average. “We had strong goaltending in both games. Melissa John kept us in the Laurier game and gave us a chance to win,” Parsons said. “Sunday, Katie Boyd picked it up from there. She had a strong sense of focus and she was prepared for the whole game.”

Becky Conroy, Queen’s leading scorer, tallied a goal and an assist in the victory over Waterloo. Cassandra Sparks, Amanda Morra and Megan McNutt also found the back of the net to help the Gaels push their record to 4-2-0, good for a combined 8 points.

Queen’s only other loss came at the hands of the Windsor Lancers on Oct. 5, Conroy said “Our losses aren’t due to a lack of skill,” she said. “We just have to come out and play 60 minutes.”

Conroy said the Gaels will need to work on keeping it simple offensively.

“I think we have to start shooting the puck,” she said. “We have some players who can be pretty fancy out there. As a team we have to start shooting and driving the net, being aggressive and getting some garbage goals.” Queen’s was ranked 10­th nationally going into the weekend, but dropped out of the CIS top-10 rankings this week with the weekend’s split decision. Parsons said he’s more focused on building over the entire season than any single weekend’s results, though.

“It’s about continuing to build the confidence of our players, in terms of their individual skills,” he said. “We’re seeing a great improvement with the majority with their skill sets. If we’re right in what we’re doing, we’re going to be very competitive come the New Year.”

The Gaels will travel to Oshawa this evening for a matchup against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks, who sit at the bottom of the OUA standings.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.