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Women's Hockey
Golden Gaels fight off Golden Hawks
Laurier: 2 Queen's: 4

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WATERLOO - This afternoon the Women’s Hockey team lost only their third game of the season to a very hungry Queen’s Golden Gaels on home ice, 4-2. Today’s game marked the return of starting goaltender Morgan Wielgosz return after suffering from symptoms from a concussion.

The Hawks looked very flat in the first period, and the Gaels would take advantage as they got on the board first with an Amanda Stenson wrist shot that beat Wielgosz. Queen’s would add another in the first period on the power play as Cassandra Sparks cashed in on a rebound on an open left side of the net, as a sprawling Wielgosz could not close the gap in time.

Laurier picked up the intensity in the second period and drew a Gaels penalties. The Hawks were unable to capitalize on the first couple power plays despite a couple good scoring chances by Captain Ashley Stephenson. The power play unit would finally solve the Gaels as a blast from Stephenson from the point beat goaltender Claire Hunt to cut the lead in half. The Hawks would strike again 28 seconds later as Diana Cicchillo crashed the net and picked up the rebound and beat Hunt to tie the game at 2-2. With six seconds remaining in the period Samantha Cully had a chance to give the Hawks the lead as she was sent alone on a breakaway, but Hunt made a clutch save to keep the game tied.

The Golden Gaels scored 3:54 into the third period on a goal that would prove to be back-breaking. A relatively simple shot wrist shot from Andrea LeBlanc handcuffed Wielgosz, with the goal the Gaels reclaimed the lead, 3-2. The Gaels would add an insurance goal with 2:22 remaining in the third period, as Victoria Kauffman drove hard to the net and cashed in on the rebound to make the score 4-2 in favour of Queen’s. Thanks to a couple retaliatory penalties by the Golden Gaels, The Hawks had a 6 on 3 with Wielgosz pulled for the extra attacker with 28 seconds remaining. However, the short power-play would be to no avail as the Gaels currently hold a slim lead in the race for second place in the OUA.

Head coach RICK OSBORNE expressed his disappointment in the loss, but remains confident in this team’s potential. "From a team perspective I thought we were a little lower-energy than normal, but I think Queen’s was a hungry team. There’s little things in our game that we need to re-focus on. I’m still extremely confident that we have the goaltending, the defence, and the forwards to get us through another OUA Championship and into the Nationals. Our record speaks for itself, there’s no need to panic. There is a need for a little more hard work, from everyone I think. We need to be a little more focused in our approach to the game."

The women will look to rebound as they take on the Brock Badgers Sunday night at the Waterloo Recreation Complex. Game time is at 7:30 PM.
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