Doing the splits

Women’s hockey loses one game, wins the other in tight road contests against Brock

Queen’s forward Elizabeth Kench stickhandles with York’s Mandy Cole in pursuit Jan. 17. The Gaels face the Guelph Gryphons at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Memorial Centre.
Queen’s forward Elizabeth Kench stickhandles with York’s Mandy Cole in pursuit Jan. 17. The Gaels face the Guelph Gryphons at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Memorial Centre.
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The women’s hockey team travelled to St. Catharine’s last weekend to take on the 8-7-3 Brock Badgers in a battle for fifth place in the OUA standings. The teams went into the weekend tied and nothing changed after their two clashes. Brock won Saturday’s tilt 2-1 while Queen’s came away with a 1-0 victory on Sunday. The Gaels’ record now sits at 10-9-1.

Head coach Harold Parsons said the Gaels were the better team all weekend despite the results.

“They were two fairly close, fairly even games as the score went,” he said. “We had more puck possession, but we just didn’t create the opportunities we would’ve liked. We were the better team for both games.”

The first game was a story of three vastly different periods, with Queen’s dominating the shots in the first period by 12-5, while Brock dominated shots 14-5 in the third frame. The second period was fairly evenly split, with the Badgers outshooting the Gaels five to four. Parsons said the discrepancies between periods were largely due to both teams having penalty troubles–Brock took eight minutes of penalties in the first, and Queen’s was on the penalty kill for six minutes of the third.

Forwards Elizabeth Kench and Becky Conroy, two of the Gaels’ leading scorers, got back to business after being affected by the team’s recent rough patch. Conroy picked up a goal in the first game off a Kench assist and Kench notched the winning goal in the second game with an assist from Conroy. Conroy is third in OUA scoring with 13 goals and 11 assists, while Kench is 16th with three goals and 12 assists.

Parsons said the keys to building on last weekend’s success are getting back to basics, relaxing and having fun.

“Obviously we have a lot of firepower, but it’s not clicking right now,” he said. “Everyone’s gripping their sticks a little tight, but they just need to relax and have fun out there. They need to get back to what they do best, and take some chances on the offensive side of the puck.”

Gaels’ rookie goaltender Karissa Savage, who picked up her first shutout and her first win on Sunday against the Badgers, said the game was a great personal milestone.

“It was amazing and a great experience,” she said. “Knowing my first win was a shutout was a great feeling and a great confidence booster.”

Savage said she felt Sunday’s win was a result of the team playing as a cohesive unit, and should provide the momentum necessary to carry the Gaels through tough games ahead.

“We stuck to our system that [Parsons] has been teaching us,” she said. “We trusted each other and played our game and we got the win. It was a confidence booster that will transfer into Guelph this weekend and U of T next weekend.”

The Gaels are set to go into a five game homestand, starting this weekend when they host the 14-4-2 Guelph Gryphons at the Memorial Centre. The game takes place Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

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