January 3, 2018
Laurier 1 Guelph 3
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons women's hockey team ended 2017 as one of the hottest squads in U SPORTS. The Gryphons won seven of eight November games, outscoring opponents 25-8 throughout an impressive month. Their return to OUA regular-season play was far from perfect but the No. 8-ranked team in the country got the job done with a 3-1 win over the Laurier Golden Hawks Wednesday night at Gryphon Centre Arena.
Guelph was in charge most of the night, outshooting the visitors 30-13. But with five weeks off from conference play, and only a few holiday exhibitions to work out the kinks, the Gryphons needed a solid third period to put the Hawks away.
"We were lucky to come away with a win," said head coach Rachel Flanagan. "We didn't play very well the first two periods."
No. 8 Guelph (9-4-0), got most of its production from the reunited top line of Kaitlin Lowy, Kelly Gribbonsand Claire Merrick. Lowy and Gribbons had a goal and assist each, while Merrick registered a critical helper on the winner. Ashlee Lawrence added a third for the hosts late in the game. Kaitlin Lowy generates some torque
The deciding goal was a beautiful effort from the top trio. Lowy was on the right boards when she threaded a feed through the slot to Merrick, who slid a pass to the back right post where Gribbons calmly banged it home behind Hannah Miller at the 8:44 mark of the third.
Lawrence, who Flanagan praised for her effort all night, would ice it with less than four minutes on the clock on a great individual effort. She followed her own shot behind the net and surprised Miller with a quick wraparound.
Valerie Lamenta didn't have much to do as she faced just 13 Laurier shots en route to her sixth win.
Though outplayed, Laurier didn't make it easy for Guelph. The Gryphons squandered a big opportunity to pull away from the Golden Hawks while up 1-0 with about eight minutes left in the second. Gribbons stripped a Laurier player at the blueline and found Lowy on a 2-on-0 break but her backhand attempt was denied by Miller.
It was costly as the Hawks equalized with just 27 seconds left in the period. With Laurier buzzing around Lamenta, the Guelph goalie steered a puck into the slot, which Emily Woodhouse scooped up and buried top shelf with an incredible backhander.
Guelph puts lots of pressure on the Golden Hawks in the opening period, despite committing a few turnovers that could have led to goals for the visitors. The Gryphons had a couple of power-play opportunities with no success but finally cashed in on their third of the first period when Lowy coolly deked a Laurier defender and fired a shot low on Miller's blocker side just 38 seconds before the intermission. Gribbons picked up an assist on the play, her 14th point of the OUA season.
Guelph outshout Laurier 12-3 after 20 minutes of play.
While the stat sheet was tilted Guelph's way, Flanagan wants her players to clean up a few notable mistakes in their first game back, including overhandling the puck and long shifts that left them vulnerable.
"We weren't moving our feet and had all-around bad habits," the coach said. "We didn't execute our keys to success at all in the first and second periods."
The Gryphons are back in action Saturday, Jan. 6 when they travel to Waterloo to take on the Warriors. Game time is 2 pm.
January 4, 2018
Waterloo 0 Western 3
LONDON, Ont. – A stellar performance from the Mustangs special teams units along with the first shutout of Carmen Lasis' career helped Western start off 2018 on a winning note with a 3-0 victory over the Waterloo Warriors on Thursday night at Thompson Arena.
"It's big for our momentum," said head coach Kelly Paton about the victory. "Waterloo's close to us in the standings and we have a couple games in hand on them so we knew it could be a big swing for us if we came out with three points."
With the win Western takes over second place in the OUA with a record of 8-1-3-2 to sit behind the Queen's Gaels. Waterloo is now tied for fifth at 6-2-4-0, matching the Nipissing Lakers with 22 points.
Western's second ranked power play reaffirmed their status as a substantial threat on the ice, as Edie Levesque capitalized on the man advantage to score the game winning goal. Western was just as strong at the other end of the rink, as the Mustangs were also flawless on the penalty kill throughout all three frames.
Levesque, Rachael Armstrong and Olivia Kariunas were responsible for the three purple and white goals, while Ali Beres added two assists in the win.
"One of the strengths of our team is that we do have a lot of depth, so having contributions from [a variety of] players is obviously something we're happy about and want to continue moving forward," said Paton.
The Mustangs twice found themselves on the power play in the first period, but were unable to break through the Warriors penalty kill. The first opportunity came just minutes into the game but was quickly neutralized by a purple and white penalty, while the second saw Waterloo fend off the Mustangs for the full two minutes.
For their part, Western also killed off a penalty in the first frame.
The Warriors special teams didn't falter until their third penalty of the night, when Edie Levesque converted assists from Evra Levesque and Beres directly after the faceoff to beat Reimer and score the game-winning goal.
The third frame ushered in a more aggressive offence from the Warriors, who outshot the Mustangs 13-8 to hold the shot advantage for the first time all evening. Waterloo took control of the third frame, concentrating action in the purple and white end of the ice, but rookie Carmen Lasis continuously denied Waterloo's attempts at breaking onto the scoreboard.
"She comes in with fundamentals that are really strong, and we've spoken to her about some areas in which we want to see her develop," said Paton about Lasis. "But she made the big saves when we needed them today and was rewarded with her first OUA shutout."
"[Lasis] played amazing tonight," added Beres. "She's been really solid for us, and it's always a huge energy boost for us on the bench when she makes those big saves."
Meanwhile, special teams continued to command attention by allowing the Mustangs to escape unscathed from another four penalties – two of which overlapped to see a five-on-three disadvantage for Western.
"It can dictate the outcome of the game pretty easily," noted Paton about the importance of special teams. "Today we were at the losing end of the advantage situation, and had a big kill on the five-on-three. We did a good job there preventing any quality chances."
Despite a more aggressive style of play from the Warriors it was the Mustangs who added points to the board as Armstrong extended Western's lead in the first few minutes of the final frame, while Kariunas scored an empty net goal with just 45 seconds left on the clock to bring the final score to 3-0.
The Mustangs will be back in action on Saturday, January 6 at 7 p.m. when they travel to Toronto to take on the Ryerson Rams. Fans can catch all the action live on OUA.tv
January 5, 2018
Windsor 1 Toronto 2
Mathilde De Serres netted her first two goals of the season as the Toronto Varsity Blues women's hockey team sliced the Windsor Lancers 2-1 at Varsity Arena on Friday night (January 5).
The Blues improve their record to 7-0-5-2 (W-OTW-L-OTL) on the season, while the Lancers record sits at 1-1-10-2.
Toronto controlled most of the play in the first, but Windsor's goalie Molly Jenkins made 11 saves to keep the game scoreless after 20 minutes.
The deadlock was broken only nine seconds into the period, thanks to Lancers forward Mune Fadel's team-leading fourth goal. The rest of the period though became the Mathilde De Serres show.
It started when the Blues were shorthanded. After winning the loose puck, the sophomore dodged a diving poke check from Jenkins to record her first goal of the season at 6:48.
De Serres struck again with less than three minutes left in the frame. She took Kiyono Cox's pass, split the defence and finished the play by snipping the top corner.
U of T held off a late surge from Windsor to beat them in their ninth straight head-to-head meeting.
Albert made 15 saves to pick up her third straight win and sits 7-2 on the season.
The Varsity Blues continue their four-game home stand to start 2018 tomorrow night against the Western Mustangs. The Mustangs (8-1-3-2) sit second in the OUA. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm.
Queen’s 0 Nipissing 1
There wasn't much in the way offence to report from Memorial Gardens Friday night, as the Nipissing Lakers women's hockey team hosted the division leading Queens Gaels.
The teams went almost 65 minutes tied 0-0 before the game was decided in overtime, with the Lakers picking up the shutout victory.
The difference between two evenly matched teams came when Maria Dominico buried her 10th goal of the season in the extra period to give Nipissing the victory.
The loss is only the second of the season for Queens, although both have come in overtime.
Jackie Rochefort was perfect in net, finishing with 23 saves for the shutout victory.
Nipissing looks to make it two in a row Saturday when they host UOIT Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm at Memorial Gardens.
January 6, 2018
Guelph 5 Waterloo 1
WATERLOO, ON – At times this season, the Gryphons women's hockey team has relied heavily upon the team's star forwards Kaitlin Lowy and Kelly Gribbons. On Saturday afternoon however, it was the Gryphons' supporting cast that led the way in an impressive road victory over the Waterloo Warriors. The two-time defending OUA champion Gryphons recorded a convincing 5-1 road win at the University of Waterloo with third year forward Karli Shell scoring a pair of power play goals. After Waterloo opened the scoring midway through the opening period, the Gryphons would respond with five unanswered goals, outshooting the Warriors 33-15 along the way. The five goal outburst marked the most goals scored by the Gryphons this season away from home. With the win, the No. 8-ranked Gryphons improve to 10-4-0 on the season and now sit third in the OUA standings, but are just three points back of first-place Queen's. With the loss, the Warriors fall to 8-5-0.
"That is a hard rink for us to play in, so for us to come away with a victory like that is big," said Gryphons head coach Rachel Flanagan. "We were better as the game went on and got some nice contributions from up and down the lineup."
A total of nine different Gryphons recorded a point on Saturday but, surprisingly, none were named Lowy or Gribbons. The senior forwards, who have put together impressive 2017-18 campaigns, were relatively quiet at Columbia Icefield Arena, but the Gryphons showcased some tremendous depth while dominating play throughout the 2nd and 3rd periods.
After tying the game at 1-1 with a power play goal from third year forward Karli Shell late in the 1st period, the Gryphons would score twice in the 2nd period to take a 3-1 lead the 3rd. All-Canadian defenceman Katherine Bailey scored to give the Gryphons a 2-1 lead, with sophomore forward Sydney Davison extending the lead to 3-1 with her 1st of the season. Davison, a member of the OUA All-Rookie Team a season ago, showed why she was one of the top rookies in the league a year ago, carrying the puck through the neutral zone and into Waterloo territory before firing a perfectly placed shot past the blocker of Waterloo goalie Stephanie Sluys.
Early in the 3rd period, Karli Shell would score her 2nd power play goal of the game to push the Gryphon lead to 4-1. For Flanagan, Shell's performance on Saturday at Waterloo was a reflection of her impressive development both on and off the ice this season, "She's starting to gain some more confidence and that has helped her in all facets of her game. She joined our "Leadership Academy" this season and has become a bit more of a vocal leader for us as well. Her growth over the past few years has been impressive and we feel really good about that whole line (Karli Shell, Miranda Lantz and Ashlee Lawrence)." Shell also added an assist to finish with a three-point game.
Third year forward Claire Merrick recorded a pair of assists and now has 15 points on the season, putting her just one point behind OUA leading scorer Maria Dominico from Nipissing.
Valerie Lamenta needed to make just 14 saves for the win, but made several key stops early in the 2nd period with the game still tied. The Gryphons limited the Warriors to just two shots in the entire 3rd period.
The Gryphons, winners of nine of their last 11 league games, will now return home for a Thursday night game (Jan. 11) versus the York Lions (4-8-2).
Windsor 0 Ryerson 3
TORONTO - Anchored by three first-period goals, the Ryerson Rams claimed their first regulation shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over the Windsor Lancers on Saturday afternoon.
Madison Lalonde (Blenheim, Ont.) would tally Ryerson’s first goal of 2018, scoring on an unassisted play just four minutes into the game to put the Rams up 1-0 in the first.
Ryerson’s second goal of the game came off a point shot from Alex Rodriguez (Toronto, Ont.) and a tip in front from Brooklyn Gemmill (Brampton, Ont.), putting the Rams up 2-0 off a power play goal midway through the first period. The Ryerson power play would strike again just five minutes later as Rodriguez would score off a shot from the blueline, increasing Ryerson’s lead to 3-0 after 17 minutes of play.
Ryerson’s first power play unit, consisting of Alex Rodriguez and Teagan Gartley (Kitchener, Ont.) on the point with Brooklyn Gemmill in front of the net, saw a lot of success today - the trio would combine for a total of six points in the game as the Rams power play went 2/4 in the matchup. Rodriguez noted the team’s shift in PP strategy and says the change worked out well today.
“It felt long overdue to get some points on the power play,” said Rodriguez after the game. “We just switched up our power play, specifically the formation. Windsor is a really gritty team and to have [the system] work down low, it helped open some spots up high.”
The Lancers would make a goalie swap after the first period, sending Molly Jenkins (St. Thomas, Ont.) to the bench in exchange for backup goaltender Morgan Farrow (Bedford, NS.). Farrow went on to stop 23 of 23 Ryerson shots through two periods of play.
The team finished the matchup with a 3-0 victory with all three goals coming within the first 17 minutes of play. Head coach Lisa Haley said that looking ahead, the team will be focusing on putting together a full 60 minutes.
“We liked our start today,” said Haley. “We want to keep adding to that and making sure that we play the full 60 minutes. We just didn’t play to the same level through all three periods. “
Queen’s 2 Laurentian 5
On Saturday afternoon, the Voyageurs women's hockey team began 2018 on the right foot after handling the visiting Queen's Gaels.
Annie Sheridan opened the scoring in the first period as she beat Sudbury native Stephanie Pascal at 8:51, on a play assisted by Elissa Bertuzzi.
Sheridan's goal was the only goal of the period as Queen's outshot Laurentian 11-10.
Sheridan again scored to begin the second period at 6:31 on a beautiful tip over Pascal's shoulder, this time with helpers going to Marie-Pierre Pelissou and Sam Morell. Queen's clawed back to within one near the end of the second period as Clare McKellar scored at 18:20, beating Shannon Dolighan in net.
Queens struck again early in the third to tie the game at 2-2 when Abby Lafreniere scored at 2:55. However, the Vees took over for the remaining 17 minutes, scoring three unanswered goals. Ellery Veerman regained the Vees lead at 8:09 on a play assisted by Morgan McCann. Sam Morell then added a goal of her own at 15:16, giving the Vees a two goal lead. Veerman would add her second of the game and the cherry on top as she scored at 19:48 into the empty net to seal the deal at 5-2.
With the victory, the Vees will look to make it two in a row at home as they host UOIT at 1:50PM.
UOIT 2 Nipissing 3
The Nipissing Lakers women's hockey team clearly wanted to shake off any rust they might have had from having about three weeks off.
They decided to play some extra hockey this weekend, winning in overtime Friday night and coming away with a 3-2 shootout win Saturday afternoon over the UOIT Ridgebacks.
After building up a 2-0 lead before UOIT evened things, the Lakers controlled the game, but were unable to find the back of the net in the third period or overtime, but managed to score twice in the shootout portion to claim the win.
The teams were tied 0-0 after the first period and all four goals – two from each team – were scored in the second period.
Brianna Gaffney and Bronwyn Bolduc each scored their third of the season before the midway point of the period to give Nipissing the lead.
Ava Keis and Jetta Derenoski each picked up helpers on the two Lakers goals.
UOIT responded with two goals in just under 20 seconds late in the period to send the teams to the intermission even again.
After a scoreless third and overtime, the teams headed to a shootout where Nipissing scored on their first two chances and Ranger allowed just one goal on three UOIT shots to grab the victory.
In total, Ranger made 23 saves, including two in the shootout, while the Lakers outshot UOIT 35-23.
Nipissing moves to 9-4-1 on the season and looks ahead to playing at Laurier and at Western next weekend as they continue the second semester of play.
Western 3 Toronto 2
TORONTO, Ont. – Two goals from Evra Levesque led the Western Mustangs to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday night at Varsity Arena.
The win is Western's second victory of 2018 and gives the team a three-game winning streak dating back to their final game prior to the break. The Mustangs now sit at 9-1-3-2 and have become the sole possessor of second place in the OUA, only one point behind Queen's. Toronto holds a 7-0-6-1 record and remains tied for sixth with Waterloo.
Levesque both opened the scoring for Western and netted the game winner to record her sixth and seventh goals of the season. Megan Taylor provided the Mustangs other goal on the night, tallying her second marker of the season.
Gabrielle De Serres and Louie Bieman provided Toronto's offence, marking their first and fifth goals respectively.
Five and a half minutes into the first period, the Varsity Blues had perhaps the best chance to score early on with a five-on-three power play, however rookie goaltender Carmen Lasis and the Mustangs' tight defence kept Toronto off the board.
The even back-and-forth play continued throughout the frame until Evra Levesque put the Mustangs in front with a little less than five minutes left in the first, converting assists from Edie Levesque and Ali Beres.
Toronto didn't wait long to respond, with De Serres tying things up just 45 seconds into the second period.
The Mustangs quickly answered back, however, and Megan Taylor regained the lead three minutes later off of passes from Evra Levesque and Shailyn Waites.
Western extended their lead to two goals early in the third period as Evra Levesque took advantage of traffic in front of the net and scored her second of the night with help from Anthea Lasis.
Bieman rounded out the scoring with a goal midway through the frame to pull the Varsity Blues to within one. That would be as close as things would get, however, as the Mustangs skated away with a 3-2 win.
Western will be back in action on Saturday, January 13, when they host the Nipissing Lakers at Thompson Arena. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m., and fans can catch the action live on OUA.tv
Brock 3 York 2
The No. 10 ranked Brock university women's hockey team defeated the York Lions by the score of 3-2 in a shootout Saturday afternoon at the Canlan Ice Sports in Toronto. With the victory, Brock improves to 10-3-2 on the season, just three points behind first place Queen's.
Brock open the scoring 5:32 into the opening period, as Rachel Rochat and Alex Finlayson set up Christina Ieradi for her fifth goal of the regular season. The Badgers extended their lead to 2-0 with five minutes left in the first period, as Kaitlyn Colonn setup Kimberly Brown on power play for her third goal of the campaign.
Midway through the second period, York cut the lead to one as Jenna Gray beat Brock starter Jensen Murphy for her first goal of the season. Two minutes into the third period, the Lions tied the game 2-2 as Christina Chin added her second goal.
In the shootout, Murphy stopped all three York shooters. Brock rookie Kat Whiteye scored the lone goal in the shootout for the victory.
In goal, Murphy recorded 37 saves for the victory, while York starter Laura Dubie added 24 saves in the loss.
The Badgers are on the road next weekend when they take on Queen's Gaels and UOIT Ridgebacks.
January 7, 2018
UOIT 2 Laurentian 3
On Sunday afternoon, the Voyageurs beat the UOIT Ridgebacks 3-2 to secure a 6 point weekend to kick off the new year.
The first period was scoreless despite the Vees outshooting the Ridgebacks 18-11.
The Ridgebacks scored first in the second frame at 8:30 when Jillian Banks beat Shanna Dolighan to go up 1-0. The Vees responded quickly, however, by way of Sam Morell who tied things up 32 seconds later on a play assisted by Brooklyn Davis. The second period ended with a 1-1 tie and the Vees outshooting UOIT 26-21.
The Voyageurs jumped out to their first lead of the game at 11:33 of the third when Marie-Pierre Pelissou scored her second goal in as many games, this time short handed. Ellery Veerman and Davis assisted on the play. The Voyageurs followed up their second goal with a third just 59 seconds later as Taylor Weber picked up a drop pass inside the blueline, split the defenders and slid the puck five-hole on Briar Hughes, putting the Vees up 3-1. Myla McCormick and Sara Habal picked up assists on Weber's goal. UOIT would get a little closer, as Chelsea Ball scored at 17:00 of the third period. However, that was as close as UOIT would get and the final buzzer would go off, securing the Voyageurs victory.
The victory ended off a two-win weekend for the Voyageurs who began the new year with 6 points and now find themselves two points back of a playoff spot.
The team now heads to Laurier and Western on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Ryerson 1 Laurier 0
WATERLOO, Ont. - Sixty-five minutes of play and three rounds of a shootout were not enough to solve this key matchup for the Ryerson Rams, but the team managed to claim a 1-0 shootout victory against the Laurier Golden Hawks in their second game of 2018.
Three scoreless regulation periods came and went quickly for the Rams who couldn’t break through the Golden Hawks defense. Ryerson would outshoot Laurier 44-21 through the game but yet couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities.
Specifically, Ryerson couldn’t seem to solve Laurier goaltender Hannah Miller (Georgetown, Ont.). Miller stopped 44 of 44 shots for the Golden Hawks on the matchup.
A shootout was necessary to solve this one, and the teams remained even after three shooters on each side. Ryerson’s Alex Rodriguez (Toronto, Ont.) would score for the Rams in the first round and Laurier forward Emily Woodhouse (St Marys, Ont.) put one past Rachel Seeley (Ottawa, Ont.) on her team’s third attempt, pushing the shootout into sudden death.
Sarah McGilvray (Stouffville, Ont.) was the hero tonight, scoring on Ryerson’s fourth attempt to claim a 1-0 victory for the Rams.
The game was eerily similar to the last meeting between the two teams on October 22nd - the matchup was sent to a shootout as well, with Ryerson taking the 1-0 shootout victory over Laurier.
A successful semester-opening weekend for the Rams saw the team come away with five crucial points in the tight OUA playoff race.
Looking ahead, the Rams will enjoy a three-game home stand in their upcoming games. The team will take on the Queen’s Gaels and the Waterloo Warriors next weekend at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.