It was a battle right down to the final minute, but in the end, the Nipissing Lakers women's hockey team prevailed.
The Lakers used two goals by Jade Gauthier and 25 saves by Jackie Rochefort to defeat the visiting Laurentian Voyageurs in Game 3 of their Round 1 OUA Playoff series.
After a 5-2 win in Game 1, the Lakers lost 4-3 on the road in Game 2, but bounced back with their best effort in Game 3 to claim the victory and advance to Round 2.
There was a single goal scored in every period and it began with Gauthier's tally near the midway point of the opening frame.
She took a slick saucer pass from Sam Strassburger, cut to the middle of the net just outside the crease and slid in the puck under the pads of Voyageurs goalie Karen Collins and into the back of the net.
Gauthier was the only Laker to score in each of the two regular season games against Laurentian and she had a point in all three in this series.
Gauthier made it 2-0 in the second period after she found a rebound just in front of the crease and made no mistake, sliding the puck into the net.
Taylor McManus and Alexane Papineau earned assists on the goal, as they did a great job of moving the puck across the blueline and getting the shot through and on net.
With a 2-0 lead heading into the third, the Lakers looked to close the game out and advance, but the Voyageurs had different plans.
Jessica Staats scored to cut the Vees deficit to one with her goal late in the third.
From there, Laurentian pushed for the equalizer, but Rochefort stood tall, the Lakers did a great job of protecting their net and held on.
Final shots favoured Laurentian 26-23, but the stat that matters went the way of Nipissing.
A truly great series by two strong northern schools sees the Lakers now advance to Round 2 where they await their opponent.
Source: Nipissing Lakers