OTTAWA – Daniela Di Felice netted two pucks as the no. 3 seeded Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks defeated the no. 2 seeded University of Alberta Pandas at the final pool competition game of the smart Canada CIS women’s ice hockey championships, 4-2 in front of 541 fans.
The win advances the Golden Hawks to the national gold medal game against McGill tomorrow night, Monday, March 10th at 7:00 p.m. live on The Score Television network. Alberta has now been eliminated from the gold medal game for the first time in six years. Over that time, Alberta has won five titles, with Wilfrid Laurier handing them their most recent loss in the gold match back in Montreal in March of 2005, 4-1.
Laurier opened scoring late in the first frame with a goal by Kaley Powers (Kingston, Ont.). Powers stick-handled her way through the Alberta zone and eventually put a puck by Panda goalie Dana Vinge. Di Felice, the second year forward netted her first of two just over a minute later on a two-on-one bouncing a puck off the post and into the net. Di Felice added the insurance marker late in the game on an empty net as she dove for the puck to dump it in the net.
“Every year we face the Pandas and this year was our year to take them,” commented Di Felice post-game. “After Alberta scored two quick, we just needed to settle down and regroup and look to continue to play the game we did. It was a real team effort.”
Hawk Captain Lauren Meschino (Toronto, Ont.) netted the only goal of the second frame putting the puck in the net by knocking it off of Vinge as the team’s only power play marker of the national tournament.
“It was a battle of goalies tonight,” commented Meschino on the two goalies that had strong contests. “Knox did a great job for us tonight and we kept the pressure on Vinge.”
Laurier finished the contest out-shooting their opponents 25-21. Liz Knox (Stouffville, Ont.) made some great saves in the contest including diving on a puck six feet out to stop the play.
The Pandas closed the gap in the third with two goals only forty-seconds apart. Patty Tulloch picked up the first with Cami Wooster netting the second on Knox. For each it was their first of the 2008 tournament.
“Our penalty kill was the key to our game tonight,” commented an elated RICK OSBORNE on the five power plays including a five-on-three, back to back minors and a five minute major. “It kept us in the game tonight and ignited the bench and really motivated our team.”
Alberta has been one of the Golden Hawks’ nemesis over the past couple of years. Previous to this game, Laurier has had a 1-4 record at national championships against the Pandas. Earlier this season these two teams competed at the Gryphon Invitational where the Hawks defeated Alberta 3-2.
“We’re going to focus on not making mistakes, because that’s what McGill will be able to capitalize on,” commented Di Felice when asked about the gold-medal contest against the Martlets. “We’ll relax and play our game as we did tonight and we have played all year.”
Laurier has faced the McGill Martlets only twice in the national championships, winning both contests. In 1999, Laurier defeated McGill in their opening game of pool play 2-0 before falling in the bronze medal. In 2006 the Hawks defeated the red-and-white 4-1 in their second pool play contest.
Laurier (WLU) 4 vs Alberta (ALB) 2
Mar 9, 2008 – CIS Championship Tournament Game #6
1. Laurier, K. Powers (1) (C. Kellough) 17:55
2. Laurier, D. Di Felice (1) (K. Shirriff, A. Bevan) 18:43
Penalties – A. Cabana ALB (roughing) 3:37, J. Newton ALB (holding) 4:59, K. Psota WLU (body contact) 10:14, K. Powers WLU (body contact) 12:17, A. Williams WLU (body contact) 15:29.
3. Laurier, L. Meschino (1) (V. Bennett, L. Barch) 6:33 (PP)
Penalties – N. Pratt ALB (check from behind) 2:22, M. Miller ALB (roughing) 5:33, A. Martin WLU (holding) 8:04, M. Mucci (body contact) 14:44.
4. Alberta, P. Tulloch (1) (K. Borbely, T. McNeil) 1:14
5. Alberta, C. Wooster (1) (M. Miller) 1:54
6. Laurier, D. Di Felice (2) 19:28 (EN)
Penalties – K. Shirriff WLU (boarding, 5-minutes) 2:32, K. Shirriff (game misconduct) 2:32, R. Reeve ALB (roughing) 8:04, T. MacNeill (roughing) 8:58, M. Mucci ALB (body contact) 15:07.
WLU Shots: 7 10 8 TOTAL: 25
ALB Shots: 8 5 8 TOTAL: 21
Power Play Conversion
Laurier 1-8. Alberta 0-5.
Laurier - Knox 2-0 Min: 60:00 SV: 19 GA: 2 [W]
Alberta - Vinge 1-1 Min: 59:51 SV: 21 GA: 3 [L]
Alberta – TEAM 0-0 Min: 00:09 SV: 0 GA: 1