Frenzy at the front

Gaels in three-way duel for OUA lead

The playoff picture hasn’t become any clearer for the women’s hockey team.

The Gaels blanked the Windsor Lancers 3-0 on Saturday before pulling out a 3-2 overtime victory over the Western Mustangs on Sunday.

The two wins put the team in position to battle for first place in the OUA with the Laurier Golden Hawks and Guelph Gryphons.

“We didn’t have any discussion with the players — no formal discussions anyway — about rankings or where we are,” head coach Matt Holmberg said. “Our sole goal last weekend was to win the next game we were going to play.”

Strong defence highlighted the Gaels’ 3-0 blanking of the Lancers. Mel Dodd-Moher recorded her third shutout of the season, making 22 saves in the game.

It was the eighth time this season the Gaels shut out their opponent.

“Against a high-powered team like Windsor, to throw up a shutout ... is indicative of how the team is playing defensively,” Holmberg said.

Defender Danielle Girard’s second period goal was the game-winner, while forward Kristen Smith and defender Alisha Sealey added insurance goals.

“We had to fight and scratch for that victory,” Holmberg said. “It really could have gone either way at stretches.”

The victory over Western was sweetened by the fact that it avenged two previous losses this season to the Mustangs.

Girard was the overtime hero, deflecting a Chelsey Verbeek shot into the net to give her two game-winning goals on the weekend.

Heading into overtime, Holmberg decided not to say much to the players.

“They still seemed excited and ready to go and focused,” Holmberg said. “After seeing them in that state I’m not that surprised that we went on to win.”

This coming weekend sees the Gaels finish their season at home against the Waterloo Warriors and the first-place Golden Hawks.

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