Women’s hockey earns much-needed points in weekend wins

Gaels beat Laurier 3-0, squeeze past Waterloo 3-2 in overtime

Forward Caroline DeBruin (right) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal on Saturday night against Waterloo.
Forward Caroline DeBruin (right) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal on Saturday night against Waterloo.

With a share of luck, the women’s hockey team (12-8-1-0) came out of their final home stand of the season with two wins. 

On Friday, the Gaels shut out the Laurier Golden Hawks (4-16-0-1) 3-0, and on Saturday night’s senior’s game, snuck past Waterloo (9-6-1-4) 3-2 in overtime. The pair of wins brought Queen’s into sixth place in the OUA, and they have three games left in the regular season to better position themselves come playoff time.

Against Laurier, the Gaels took control early on with a goal from forward Caroline DeBruin midway through the opening period. After the first intermission, Queen’s built on their lead twice in the first four minutes with a goal from defenseman Devon Greenough and another from DeBruin.

Limiting Laurier to only 17 shots, goaltender Makenzy Arsenault backstopped the Gaels in her fourth shutout of the season. With the win, Arsenault put herself atop the OUA for goals-against average with 1.17.

“I thought we had a really good start and I was happy with our overall game,” Head Coach Matt Holmberg told The Journal of his team’s 3-0 win over Laurier.

On Saturday’s senior’s night, in front of a crowd of the team’s parents, the Gaels were locked in a fight with Waterloo until the final whistle. Despite leading 1-0 going into the second period, Queen’s gave up their first goal of the game midway through the second. Backed by strong goaltending, both teams entered the final frame tied 1-1.

Looking to break the tie in the third period, Waterloo went up 2-1 10 minutes into the final period after a scrum in front of goaltender Stephanie Pascal. Unable to generate offense, the Gaels’ luck turned in the final six minutes. Within 1:33 of each other, Waterloo amassed three penalties—one for hooking and two for slashing.

Despite Queen’s going scoreless in the five-on-three powerplay, Waterloo was handed a fourth penalty with 2:28 left for body checking. Just over 20 seconds later, fourth-year Katrina Manoukarakis tied the game, sending the teams to overtime.

Fourth-year Katrina Manoukarakis scoring the game-tying goal.

In overtime, DeBruin streaked up the left side of the ice, slid past Waterloo’s defender and squeaked the puck into the back of the net. Despite taking a few seconds to register she’d scored, the Gaels’ bench stormed the ice to celebrate.

“We were called throughout the game for retaliation,” Holmberg said of Waterloo’s late-game penalties. “The refs just kept it consistent and called them for doing the same thing.”

Despite an unexpected ending, Holmberg knew the game would be close: Waterloo trailed Queen’s by three points in the OUA standings going into the game.

“Waterloo's a very good team, as we know from past years. I'm not surprised that it went to overtime,” he said.

Now sixth in the OUA, Queen’s has three games left and the opportunity to finish top-four in the league. Their 38 points put them closely behind Toronto (39), Nipissing (39), Ryerson (40), and Western (42). Guelph has unofficially secured first in the league with 50 points.

“If we can win the next three games, top four is almost a certainty. That would get us home-ice in the first round, so that’s our goal right now,” Holmberg said.

The Gaels’ final three opponents all sit behind them in the standings—on Thursday they’re set to play the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (9-11-1-1), and will take on the York Lions (5-10-3-1) on Friday.

“Hopefully we’re peaking at the right time,” Holmberg said.

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