Gaels fall to last-place Ridgebacks Saturday

UOIT picks up third win of the season, second victory over Queen’s

Queen’s forward Liz Kench gets knocked down by UOIT defender Jordan Whately Saturday at the Memorial Centre. The Gaels lost 3-0 to the Ridgebacks.
Queen’s forward Liz Kench gets knocked down by UOIT defender Jordan Whately Saturday at the Memorial Centre. The Gaels lost 3-0 to the Ridgebacks.

Although some members of the women’s hockey team took part in a tournament at Concordia last weekend, the Gaels looked unprepared to resume their season against the last-place team in the OUA Saturday when they fell 3-0 to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks at the Memorial Centre. It was the Gaels’ second loss to the Ridgebacks this season.

A little under five minutes into the tilt, the Ridgebacks struck with a soft wrist shot from the top of the circle to take an early lead. Just under 10 minutes later, the Gaels thought they’d responded with a bizarre poke-checked goal, but the referees waved it off, and it was all downhill from there. The Ridgebacks added a second goal in the second period and an empty-netter in the third to seal the game. Although the Gaels managed 32 shots to UOIT’s 22, they couldn’t solve goaltender Emma Thompson, who earned the first shutout in the history of UOIT’s women’s hockey program.

Head coach Harold Parsons said the Gaels didn’t play the game they were capable of.

“The longer the game went on, the tighter our sticks got. We couldn’t get loose out there.”

Although the Gaels hadn’t been in league action since November 30, Parsons said the break shouldn’t have affected the team.

“We had a great week of practice, no excuses,” he said. “Our second loss to a last place team, it’s embarrassing. … I didn’t think much of the officiating tonight, but no excuses. We should’ve won that game.”

Gaels’ captain Cassie Sparks said the team never found their stride.

“We had a really good week of practice, so the start wasn’t what we were expecting,” she said. “Things just didn’t click today.”

Sparks said the 3-0 scoreline was in no way a reflection of Saturday’s game.

“I think it would’ve been a different story if the goal was allowed,” she said. “We would have had momentum. We came out flat in the first but in the second and third we played well. It wasn’t reflective.”

As for improvements before next weekend’s double-header homestand against the York Lions, Sparks said the team would need to start driving to the net and taking better shots.

“We just need to go to the net a lot harder,” she said. “We’re getting in the zone, we’re getting shots but we’re not getting rebounds. Our shots need to be better too, we’re getting them on net but they’re pretty much all going right into the goalie’s pads.”

The 9-6-1 Gaels will host the 8-10 York Lions at the Memorial Centre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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