One step closer to playoff boost

Second-place Gaels concede no goals, claim six points on northern road swing

Bad weather and playing conditions didn’t faze the Gaels en route to a weekend sweep of Northern Ontario teams.

The Gaels scored a 6-0 victory over the Nipissing Lakers on Saturday, followed by a gritty 1-0 win over the Laurentian Voyageurs on Sunday.

The two wins put Queen’s (10-2-2) 11 points back of the OUA-East leading Ottawa Gee-Gees (14-0-1). With two regular season games remaining, the Gaels are comfortably in second in the OUA heading into the postseason.

Gaels head coach Dave McDowell was happy with the way the team fought through unfavourable playing conditions.

“It’s always a tough weekend when you have so much travel involved and two very poor grass fields,” McDowell said. “We’ll take the six points — they were pretty important.”

First-year striker Brittany Almeida led Queen’s offense, netting two goals in the victory over Nipissing. Breanna Burton, Jackie Tessier, Jessie De Boer and Kayla Crnic rounded out the Gaels’ scoring.

Sabrina Carew made 11 stops to preserve the shutout against the Lakers.

Captain Riley Filion scored Queen’s lone goal in the victory over Laurentian on Sunday, while first-year goalkeeper Madison Tyrell stopped four shots to earn the Gaels’ clean sheet.

Queen’s next action comes Friday in Ottawa, where the Gaels will have an opportunity to avenge a 3-0 loss the Gee-Gees handed to them on Sept. 5.

McDowell isn’t overly concerned about the results of the team’s final two games, preferring to see a complete roster come playoff time.

Fourth-year Alexis McKinty is among the sidelined players. Part of the team’s force in the midfield for the past two seasons, her presence could be missed in the playoffs.

“To be playoff ready, we need to be healthy,” McDowell said. “The big thing is getting some of those players who are close [to returning] back for next weekend.”

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