NAPANEE – The #3 ranked Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks defeated the Queen’s Golden Gaels in the first of a three game semi-final series, 3-1, at the Strathcona Paper Centre.
The next game of the series takes place Saturday, February 23rd at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex at 8:30 p.m. and game three, if necessary, will be on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Recreation Complex.
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawk women’s hockey program has qualified for the provincial championships in each of the past eight seasons, winning the past four banners. Previous to this season, the final four teams competed in a one-game semi-final and final. This season both will be taking place in best of three formats.
In speaking to the change in playoff format, Andrea Bevan (Collingwood, Ont.) noted that it isn’t much of a change in the way the team plays. “We’re approaching each game as if it’s not a series,” said the defenceman who attended the under-22 camp this season and traveled to Germany. “That’s a better way to look at the games, as you leave everything on the ice and get the job done.
Melissa John, the Queen’s goalie that handed Laurier their only regular season shutout, made some key saves for the Gaels throughout the night. John stopped a total of 43 of the 46 shots on net making some impressive saves as she was bombarded with tough shots all night. Golden Hawk netminder Liz Knox (Stouffville, Ont.) was only faced with a total of 16 in the contest where she had one get through.
“We shown the rust of having a week off,” commented head coach RICK OSBORNE about the first period of play. “We were rusty and we were concerned about our performance this evening with us having the week off, but it worked out.”
Laurier’s skaters were consistently out-skating their opponents throughout the contest and keeping the puck in the offensive zone. Queen’s was able to pick up an odd-man rush at one point and after stopping a two-on-one, goalie Liz Knox made a stop on net, but Andrea LeBlanc put the puck over a sprawling Knox for the only goal of the period.
Andrea Ironside (Collingwood, Ont.) netted her first goal of the playoffs and 14th of the year. Ironside, took a pass that came from Lauren Barch (Burlington, Ont.) and took a shot through traffic while on the power play to tie the game up. About five minutes later, Bevan netted the second of the period for the Hawks after receiving a back-door pass from Captain Lauren Meschino (Toronto, Ont.) which forced John to move post to post in a desperate effort to make the save.
Daniela Di Felice (Kitchener, Ont.) added the insurance marker in the third which was the only marker in the period despite a Laurier 5-on-3 and a Queen’s 6-4 while they had their goalie pulled in the final 21 seconds of the game.
“We’ve got to be better tomorrow as Queen’s can be a difficult team and they’ll battle hard tomorrow to avoid elimination,” concluded Osborne.
Laurier 3 at Queen's 1
Feb 22, 2008
Scoring - 1. Queen's, A. LeBlanc (1) (A. Morra, K. Duncan) 16:51
Penalties - A. McMillin Laur (hooking) 9:02, K. Duncan Que (hooking) 12:10, E. Kench Que (slashing) 18:57
2. Laurier, A. Ironside (1) (S. Crarey, L. Barch) 6:03 PP
3. Laurier, A. Bevan (1) (L. Meschino) 11:50
Penalties - L. Meschino Laur (roughing) 2:56, B. Conroy Que (holding) 5:22, S. Smyth Que (holding opp. stick) 7:19, A. Williams Laur (interference) 14:02
4. Laurier, D. Di Felice (1) (A. Bevan, K. Shirriff) 5:34
Penalties - B. Conroy Que (hooking) 1:22, K. Psota Laur (high sticking) 11:55, C. Johnson Que (interference) 13:34, C. Sparks Que (body checking) 14:05, A. Bevan Laur (body checking) 19:39, A. McMillin Laur (roughing) 19:39, S. Aitcheson Que (interference) 19:53
LAUR Shots: 15 18 13 TOTAL: 46
QUE Shots: 4 8 4 TOTAL: 16
Power Play Conversion
Laurier 1-7. Queen's 0-5.
Laurier - Knox 1-0-0-0 Min: 60:00 SV: 15 GA: 1
Queen's - John 0-1-0-0 Min: 59:15 SV: 43 GA: 3
Queen’s – TEAM 0-0-0-0 Min: 00:45 SV: 0 GA: 0