Laurier: 2 OUA Final - Toronto: 1
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ST. CATHARINES - For the third consecutive season the Women’s Hockey team are champions of the OUA, with a 2-1 overtime defeat of the Toronto Varsity Blues. This championship has marked the fourth provincial title of the season for our Golden Hawk teams, which has been the most successful year in Golden Hawk history.
The first period saw goaltender Morgan Wielgosz
making a couple fantastic saves throughout the opening frame. It looked like there would be no score heading into the first intermission but Laurissa Kenworthy
changed that. With 10.1 seconds left in the period and the face-off in the Hawks zone, Kenworthy stole the puck from the Blues defender, raced alone on the breakaway and made a great deke to her backhand and slid the puck past Blues goalie Lisa Robertson just before the buzzer sounded to end the period. The goal stood and the Hawks held the 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Wielgosz was stellar again early in the second period, making a save on a Blues 2-on-1 at the four minute mark. The Blues would solve the Laurier netminder at 13:36 however, as Annie Delguidice raced in on the rush on a clear break to the net and shot the puck low left-side past Wielgosz to even the score at 1-1. A couple minutes later the Hawks had a chance to reclaim the lead. Andrea Ironside
had an open path to the net, but Robertson turned her away with a stick save. At 16:57 the Hawks looked like they had regained the lead, as the puck entered the net. But the goal did not count as the officials blew the whistle as they lost sight of the pucks amidst a scrum of Toronto and Laurier players at the foot of the crease. The Hawks had another opportunity on the power-play but Blues forward Katie Dowdall stole the puck and raced on the break. Andrea Bevan
raced back and made a great play to take out Dowdall and prevent a short-handed scoring opportunity for the Blues. However, Bevan was assessed an interference penalty on the sequence which put an end to the Laurier power-play. The Blues out-shot the Hawks through two periods 19-16.
Both teams had good scoring chances in the third period. The Hawks owned the offensive zone control battle in the first half of the period while the blues took control of possession in the second half. Yet again Wielgosz was phenomenal making a number of clutch saves from all angles. The score remained 1-1 at the end of regulation, and the OUA championship had to be decided in sudden-death overtime.
At 4:18 of overtime Laurier defenceman Jessica Judges
fired a shot outside the faceoff circle that went through the legs of Robertson to give the Hawks the 2-1 victory and their third consecutive OUA banner.
Bevan was named the player of the game for the Golden Hawks. Wielgosz made 30 saves in the win and 52 saves over the two games in her first start at the OUA Championships.
Head Coach RICK OSBORNE
talked about the importance of the achievement of three consecutive provincial championships, "The threepeat was really important to this team. Everybody seemed to think that they could beat us. It was really nice to get the threepeat and win the close games. It’s a real tough league a lot of parity in the league this year. So I feel it’s a real accomplishment."
The Golden Hawks have their sights set on the national championship tournament in Antigonish, Nova Scotia where they will hold the #1 seed. "I think we can (win the CIS championship) again, we’ve got a great team. Whatever happens at nationals, is whatever happens. I think we have a phenomenal chance at repeating and we’re going to leave it all on the line and I’m going to empty my tank in these last three games," said captain Ashley Stephenson