On the defensive

Women extend shutout streak in home opener

Allie Biglieri scored in the first period against York on Saturday.
Allie Biglieri scored in the first period against York on Saturday.
Photo: 
The Gaels have yet to lose a game in regulation.
The Gaels have yet to lose a game in regulation.
Photo: 

A little extra motivation helped Queen’s blank the York Lions 3-0 in their home opener on Saturday night.

The Gaels (3-0-1) are currently on a three-game winning streak, after topping York and defeating the UOIT Ridgebacks 5-1 on Sunday.

The victory over York (1-3-0) had special meaning to the Gaels.

“We want to play every game as it comes, no matter the opponent, but it was nice to beat York,” said head coach Matt Holmberg. “They beat us out in the playoffs last year, so to put that little bit to rest was doubly sweet.”

The Gaels brought the pressure early in the game — an approach Holmberg specifically wanted to see from the team.

“I thought the girls did a great job on the forecheck, right at the beginning,” he said. “Spending the first five or six minutes in the York end was really key to getting that momentum.”

The pressure paid off when winger Allie Biglieri opened the scoring 10:33 into the first period. Brittany McHaffie scored on the power play early in the second period and Chantal Morais added a power play goal of her own in the third period.

The Gaels shut out their opponents in regulation for the third consecutive game. Holmberg said defence was something that the team went into the season focusing on.

“The team has really bought into [playing defensively],” he said. “Forwards are back-checking hard, the [defenders] are playing tough in front of the net and both of our goalies have been playing [outstandingly].”

Goaltender Karissa Savage recorded her second shutout in a row, making 28 saves to claim the victory.

“Right now we’re doing well in our zone, which helps us out as goalies,” Savage said.

The shutout streak came to an end on Sunday against UOIT (2-2-0), when the Gaels gave up a third-period goal on the way to a 5-1 victory.

Morais and winger Taryn Pilon both scored twice, while winger Courtenay Jacklin added three assists. Mel Dodd-Moher made 24 saves in goal for Queen’s.

The Gaels will host the Brock Badgers on Saturday and the Guelph Gryphons on Sunday.

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.