Women's hockey drop third game in a row

Powerplay inefficiencys plague injury riddled team 

Hailey Wilson (centre) prepares for a faceoff.
Hailey Wilson (centre) prepares for a faceoff.

As the Chicago Cubs proved to us last month, all streaks must end. 

Last Saturday marked the end of one that the women’s hockey team wanted to keep intact, as the Gaels surrendered their first loss to the Ryerson Rams since they joined the league in 2012. 

Queen’s also dropped their first game of the weekend on Remembrance Day to the UOIT Ridgebacks 3-2, falling to a 4-6 record on the season.

“Obviously we’re very disappointed with the results,” said coach Matt Holmberg after the game. “In order for us to secure a playoff spot, those are the two teams we need to beat.”

In both contests, Queen’s led through the first period but seemed deflated as both games moved ahead in the later periods. Coach Holmberg felt that his team “could have beat them if we played a full 60 minutes. It’s just somewhat troublesome and disappointing.”

Queen’s also went into the weekend with multiple injuries, especially on their defensive end. Though the Gaels didn’t attribute their losses to this, the team experienced fairly significant shake-ups in their lines and pairings. Captain Jessica Wakefield, one of Queen’s top forwards, was forced to move back in place for missing defensemen. 

“Going into the weekend we weren’t really sure what we were going to have in terms of defense,” said Holmberg.

Following this weekend’s disappointing results, the Gaels are looking to move forward and get back on track against the Windsor Lancers on Saturday, their penultimate game before a significant break. It will be their first game of the season against the Lancers, who hold a one-point advantage on Queen’s in the standings. The Gaels are looking to bounce back, attempting to snap their three-game losing streak.

Unlike their usual back-to-back schedule, this game will be their only matchup of the weekend. Holmberg believes the change in tempo will be advantageous to the team.

“I think we can go a little bit harder during the week in practice,” Holmberg said. “Certainly during that one game I think we can try to go with those that are performing the best and not really having to worry about game two.”

The added time will allow the Gaels to work more rigorously on pieces of their game that have let them down in their previous losses this season. The Gaels’ power play has been an area where they continue to struggle in. Queen’s is currently ranked second last in the OUA with an 8.7 per cent conversion rate. Holmberg made it clear that “it’s still something that I think we need to improve on and can help us out in those close games.”

If the Gaels follow their game plan, it will be likely that the Holmberg will choose to utilize his biggest producers so far this season. Forwards Emily Jukosky and Katrina Manoukarakis both have seven points through ten games this season, while Addi Halladay shares the lead with Jukosky for goals scored with four. 

While it’s clear that the Gaels have a tough road ahead of them in a season of ups and downs, Queen’s looks ready to attack next week with fresh legs and a clear goal.

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