Women's hockey streak snapped in overtime

Claire McKellar is the difference in the Gaels win

Claire McKellar scored the overtime wining goal on Saturday.
Claire McKellar scored the overtime wining goal on Saturday.

With the women’s hockey team and Windsor separated by one point in division standings going into their game last weekend, both sides knew the game would be tight. 

In the end, Queen’s prevailed in dramatic overtime fashion by a score of 3-2. The two teams now share the eighth spot in the OUA standings.

Though it’s just halfway through a long and gruelling 24 game season, the atmosphere gave this match up the feel of the OUA playoffs. In the midst of a three-game losing streak, the Gaels bounced back with strong performances from forward Addi Halladay and goaltender Stephanie Pascal, while Clare McKellar sealed the game in overtime.

Here are The Journal’s takeaways from the Gaels thrilling overtime victory.

Halladay continues hot streak

On Saturday, Addi Halladay showed just how valuable she has been to the team this season. In the second period, just six seconds after the Lancers scored, Halladay took a centre ice face-off and within a blink of an eye, had the puck in the back of the net. 

In the third, with the Gaels down 2-1 and just under five minutes to play, Halladay rifled a shot that went bar-down, tying the game 2-2. Halladay also added an assist on McKellar’s overtime winner.

“I think the game is fun for her in the last month or so,” said head coach Matt Holmberg. “She’s shooting with a purpose and with a shot like that, it’s a good thing to happen.”

Halladay’s three-point night extended her season point total to nine and puts her tied in third in the OUA with six goals. 

Gaels take advantage of single game weekend

Rather than their regular two game scheduled weekends, Queen’s played in just the lone game. 

Instead of playing with little rest due to the back-to-back weekend, the team was allowed more time to train and relax.

For head coach Matt Holmberg, having the one-game weekend brought a renewed energy to the team.

“That was as consistent of a 60 minutes that we’ve played all year,” he said. “For example, last weekend we played a heck of a great first period but in the second and third we didn’t show up but I thought today it was fairly consistent from start to finish.”

While this had a clear positive impact on the Gaels, Holmberg was sure to note that this was not an ordinary weekend. For the team to be successful in both the OUA and U Sports National Championship, they will need to be able to compete in the conventional two-game weekend.

Looking ahead

The Gaels head to Toronto this weekend to play the U of T Varsity Blues in their final game of the first half of the season. Queen’s will have a significant break to allow the players to prepare for exams, but their season is far from over. 

The team is given an off-ice program while they spend Christmas at home, and soon after the Gaels will start the second half of the season in what is expected to be a highly contentious game against Nipissing.

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