Women’s hockey success continues at home

Gaels still undefeated with victories against Guelph and Brock

Gaels’ forward Alana Smith tries to avoid pressure from Badger forward Kristen Dewsbury.
Gaels’ forward Alana Smith tries to avoid pressure from Badger forward Kristen Dewsbury.
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Captain Alison Bagg flies into the Brock zone during Saturday’s game.
Captain Alison Bagg flies into the Brock zone during Saturday’s game.
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The women’s hockey team stayed on a roll this weekend in back-to-back games at the Memorial Centre.

In their home-opener on Friday night, Queen’s defeated the Guelph Gryphons by a score of 6-4. On Saturday afternoon, they notched a 2-1 victory over the Brock Badgers. The Gaels are 4-0 on the season, three wins coming against nationally ranked teams.

Coaches and players said they see a promising season ahead after such a successful start.

Head coach Matthew Holmberg said since training camp there has been an excitement brewing about the upcoming season.

“Ever since the first practice, everyone has said there’s a good feeling that this will be a special season,” he said. “I was confident the team would come out strong and it has been a complete team effort so far.”

Goaltender Karissa Savage said she believes a good locker room dynamic has created a confident and connected team.

“We’re really united,” she said. “We trust each other a lot. We’re having fun which helps a lot on and off the ice.”

This was evident in Friday night’s victory against Guelph which started strongly with the Gaels scoring three goals in the first period.

Forwards Liz Kench and Megan McNutt provided scoring in the first, along with a late period goal by forward Kelsey Thomson. The Gryphons created several chances in the second period with 15 shots on rookie goaltender Mel Dodd-Moher. Guelph capitalized on a five-on-three power play and would add one more at the end of the period.

The Gaels went into the third leading by two thanks to a late goal by forward Becky Conroy. Guelph added two power-play goals in the third but Queen’s continued to apply pressure and was rewarded with a goal from forward Kristin Smith and a second from Conroy.

With two games in less 24 hours, fatigue didn’t affect the Gaels in a 2-1 victory over Brock.

“We played Friday-Saturday games last season,” captain Alison Bagg said. “We’re used to playing two games in less than 24 hours.”

Brock’s strong goaltending limited the Gaels’ offense with only two goals from forwards Elizabeth Kench and Kristin Smith, a sharp decline from their previous three games, where they averaged just over five goals per game.

“Brock has always had a strong goaltender,” Bagg said. “We didn’t get as many shots to test her out. She played well.” Brock’s frustrations with goaltender Karissa Savage’s confident play led to a physical end to the game.

Bagg said Brock’s style of play didn’t go unnoticed by the team and was discussed in the locker room.

“We talked about it between periods that they were getting pretty physical,” she said. “We wanted to stick to our game and not get sucked into it.”

The Gaels don’t play again until Oct. 31 when they face the Western Mustangs at 2:30 p.m., followed by a game against the Windsor Lancers at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 1. Both games are at the Memorial Centre.

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