Championship campaign

Second OUA title in three years highlights 2012-13 season

Queen’s defence collectively allowed 43 goals in 26 regular season games — best in the OUA.
Queen’s defence collectively allowed 43 goals in 26 regular season games — best in the OUA.
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It was all-around excellence that led the women’s hockey team to victory.

The Gaels’ 20-win regular season was the best in the program’s history. As a sequel to the amazing regular season, the Gaels went on a playoff run that ended with the team capturing their second OUA title in the last three years.

Though the season ended with the Gaels losing all three games at the CIS championship, that shouldn’t be what Queen’s season is remembered for. The team’s legacy was its performance in the OUA — especially its postseason dominance.

The team consistently battled hard in both ends to help produce results. The OUA leader this season in goals against, the Gaels were a testament to their commitment in their own zone.

One of the major reasons for having the top defensive team in the league was the outstanding play of goaltending tandem Karissa Savage and Mel Dodd-Moher.

Splitting the workload this season, the duo allowed only 43 goals against with both goalies sitting in the top five in goals against average. That isn’t to say that the goalies were the only stars of the team.

Centre Morgan McHaffie was a second-team all-Canadian this season, posting 33 points while also playing a strong defensive game. Joining McHaffie in the OUA top 10 for scoring was second-year winger Taryn Pilon, whose 27 points were good enough to tie her for seventh place.

A key to the success the Gaels had this year was offensive depth, as 10 other players put up double-digit numbers in points, including veterans Kristin Smith and Brittany McHaffie.

The team also generated offense through second-team All-Star Katie Duncan — second amongst OUA defenders in points with 22.

All-rookie team member Alisha Sealey led all first-year blueliners with 14 points.

The team’s OUA-leading power play — at 22.9 per cent — played an important role in keeping the Gaels in contention all year.

Although they only ranked ninth in the OUA on the penalty kill, the Gaels’ discipline stopped this from being a detriment, as they were the least penalized team in the league.

The road to a repeat will be difficult, with as many as 10 players off this year’s team set to graduate.

The team will need to get continued increased production from players such as Pilon, Sealey and centre Shawna Griffin next year.

With a deep roster, key returnees and a strong recruiting class, the Gaels could still contend for the championship.

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