Women's hockey back to winning

Power play help Gaels defeat Laurier

Courtenay Jacklin tallied four point against Laurier.
Courtenay Jacklin tallied four point against Laurier.
After starting their weekend homestand with a fourth loss in five games, the women’s hockey team was primed for a statement game.
The Gaels did just that on Saturday night, topping the visiting Laurier Golden Hawks 5-2, one night after falling to the Waterloo Warriors 3-1. The victory over Laurier marked Queen’s second victory since Nov. 21, ending a stretch in which the Gaels only managed to snag four of a possible 15 points.
According to head coach Matt Holmberg, “puck luck” ended up playing a role in changing Queen’s fortunes.
“We’ve had a lot of great chances in the previous two games and nothing went in for us,” he said. “I think the team has been working so hard they deserved some of that [puck luck] finally.”
Fourth-year Courtenay Jacklin had a big night for the Gaels. The veteran winger racked up four points against Laurier, including the game’s final goal.
Jacklin’s linemates Taryn, Pilon and Katrina Maoukarakis combined for a further five points on the weekend.
Holmberg credited Jacklin, Pilon and their fellow veterans in helping the team bounce back from their previous results.
“Court and Taryn really stepped up their games tonight,” he said. “The two of them have been playing together for four years and you could just see they wanted it for the team.”
While the victory over Laurier was vital for keeping pace with the OUA’s top teams, the loss to Waterloo kept the Gaels out of the league’s top four squads for the time being. Queen’s currently sits fifth in the province, though they hold games in hand on all four schools ahead of them.
The Gaels’ lone goal against the Warriors was notable, as rookie Emily Jukosky netted the first tally of her CIS career. While the marker gave Queen’s the lead after one frame, they couldn’t maintain it, losing to a Waterloo team they’re currently trailing in the OUA playoff picture.
Against the Golden Hawks, Queen’s fell behind when Jessica Prevette beat goaltender Caitlyn Lahonen just under two minutes into the contest. The Gaels rallied back to hold a 3-1 advantage at the end of the first period. 
Two of the goals came from Queen’s league-leading power play, as both Manoukarakis and Pilon took advantage of Laurier’s undisciplined play and found the net. 
Addi Halladay (#12) takes the puck in the offensive zone against Laurier.    Photo By Kendra Pierroz
“Laurier plays a physical game, and every so often that leads to penalties and we were hoping we could get some opportunities that way,” Holmberg said.
The Golden Hawks cut the lead to one late in the second period, but 73 seconds later defenceman Micaela Smith swung the momentum firmly towards Queen’s with a tally of her own. Jacklin finished off her impressive night by adding an insurance marker seven minutes into the third period.
The Gaels find themselves in the midst of a logjam in the OUA standings, with just six points separating the third and eighth-place teams. Queen’s takes on two opponents at opposite ends of the spectrum this weekend, hosting the country’s top team, the Guelph Gryphons and the province’s second-worst squad in the UOIT Ridgebacks.
Holmberg said the Gaels’ victory to end the weekend has put them on the right track for taking on a top-tier team like Guelph.
“We’ll be treating them with a lot of respect, but we don’t fear them,” he said. “We’ll need a good week in practice and I think coming off this win, the team should be feeling pretty good about itself. We’re excited for next weekend.” 

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