Overtime vengeance

Women’s hockey wins in reversal of last year’s OUA Final

Women’s hockey stayed among the top teams in the OUA with split results last weekend.

The Gaels topped the Laurier Golden Hawks in a 5-4 overtime battle Saturday, before falling 2-1 to the Waterloo Warriors on Sunday.

Rookie Addi Halladay potted the overtime winner 4:34 into the added frame against Laurier, putting the Gaels past the defending OUA champions.

The win over Laurier proved a little sweeter, as it was the first time Queen’s had travelled to play the Golden Hawks since their loss in game three of the OUA Finals in March. Head coach Matt Holmberg said the coaches didn’t discuss the playoff result, but it was on the players’ minds.

“We had played Laurier already once in exhibition and beat them,” Holmberg said. “But back in their arena where they had won it last year, I’m certain that for the players there was a little extra motivation, for sure.”

Special teams proved a major factor in the game, as the Gaels gave up three power play markers and added a pair of their own, including Halladay’s game-winning goal. Holmberg said he’s happy with how his league-leading power play unit is playing, but the team needs to work on their penalty kill.

“The only thing that concerned me a little bit was our PK,” he said. “We gave up three power play goals to Laurier even though that’s an area we worked on specifically in the week leading up to it. They were still able to get three on us so that’s something we still need to work on moving forward.”

Captain Shawna Griffin led the Gaels with a pair of tallies, bringing the team back from a pair of one-goal deficits. Neither squad was able to get the jump on the other as the contest mostly remained a tight affair.

In addition to Halladay and Griffin’s contributions, defenceman Alisha Sealey and forward Emily Gervais also notched goals.

The offensive touch wasn’t there the next afternoon, as only Taryn Pilon found the back of the net for Queen’s against Waterloo. The Warriors’ Marissa Redmond scored the difference maker with just over five minutes left in the game.

Holmberg said the Gaels needed to be able to get out in front on teams.

“We just didn’t seem to have that killer instinct to put them away,” he said. “The game remained tied, remained tied and then they scored on a very fluky play and that was it.”

Despite the loss, rookie goaltender Stephanie Pascal put forth a strong effort in net, turning away 23 of the 25 shots she faced.

The Gaels are now just over the halfway point of the campaign and sit among the top two in the OUA in several key statistics. They rank first in goals for per game and power play percentage and trail only the Western Mustangs in goals against average at 1.58.

Queen’s hosts the league-leading Mustangs on Sunday after facing off with the Windsor Lancers (8-2-2) tomorrow.

“We’re really looking forward to these games. Western’s currently in first for the league and Windsor’s tied with ourselves for second,” Holmberg said. “I can’t think of a better way to end the first half than to test ourselves against two of the top teams in the league.”

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