Women’s Hockey

It was a disappointing weekend for the Queen’s women’s hockey team as they lost both of their games and fell out of the top five teams in the OUA standings. The Gaels picked up one point in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday and then dropped a 5-1 decision to the undefeated Laurier Golden Hawks on Sunday, bringing their record to 4-4-1.With nine points in nine games, they sit sixth in the province.

The Gaels lost 6-2 to the Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks the weekend before, and head coach Harold Parsons said three consecutive losses are evidence the team needs to elevate its game.

“We certainly weren’t pleased with our overall performance,” he said. “Our last three games have not reflected what our team is capable of.” Parsons said the team needs to return to the basics to halt the current losing streak.

“We’re being outworked to loose pucks,” he said. “It’s a combination of players not being in the right spot, trying to do too much or not putting enough effort in on the defensive side of the puck.”

Parsons said the early leads the Gaels have often conceded this season have hurt their confidence.

“When a team feels like they’re not playing as though they should, that’s when you made those little mistakes,” he said.

Queen’s was outshot badly in both games. First-year goalie Karissa Savage minded the net for Queen’s against Waterloo, stopping 40 of 42 shots in the loss. On Sunday, Katie Boyd allowed five goals on 32 shots before being replaced by Melissa John for the third period of the game.

Queen’s leading scorer Becky Conroy netted the Gaels’ only goal against Waterloo and assisted on Victoria Kaufmann’s lone tally against Laurier.

Parsons said he wants the team focused on looking ahead and working to improve.

“We don’t want them to be too focused on the past,” he said. “The technical and tactical things are great, but they need to play hockey with passion and have fun out there.”

Parsons said the players shouldn’t get too down on themselves after Sunday’s loss to the defending OUA champion Golden Hawks.

“We have to realize that every team in the league is not as good as Laurier,” he said. “We’ve got to go out and play our game. You can’t lose your confidence because you got beat by a very good hockey team.” Parsons said the Gaels have had a tough schedule to open the year with the majority of their games coming on the road, but that’s not solely responsible for their struggles.

“We’ve had the hardest schedule the in the OUA with seven of nine games on the road,” he said. “We’re not making any excuses, but the reality is that it’s a hard schedule.” Parsons said he’s optimistic the Gaels’ season will turn around.

“Historically we’ve been a much better team in the second half,” he said.“We’re really going to situate ourselves well with 10 straight home games in the second part of the season.”

On Saturday, Queen’s will travel to Oshawa for a rematch against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks and follow it up with a Sunday matinee affair in Guelph against the Gryphons.

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