WATERLOO – The no. 2 nationally ranked Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks eliminated the Queen’s Gaels in the OUA semifinal with a 3-2 win in the second of the best of three series on Saturday afternoon.
Lauren Barch (Burlington, Ont.) scored the game winner six-minutes and 35 seconds into the third overtime while the Hawks were on a two-man advantage after a Queen’s player had made contact with the referee.
“It was about time,” commented Barch about the overtime winner. “Melissa John played a great game for Queen’s but once I got the puck and saw she was down I switched to my forehand and put the puck in the net.”
Hawk netminder Liz Knox (Stouffville, Ont.) faced 20 shots in the contest while her counterpart Melissa John saw 60 shots making some key saves in the game.
Heather Fortuna (Kitchener, Ont.) opened scoring for the purple-and-gold and then Kristin Smith responded just two minutes later to tie the game at ones.
Kaley Powers (Kingston, Ont.) scored her third of the post season as she tied up the game at twos early in the third frame. Queens’ captain Cassandra Sparks put the Gaels ahead midway through the second as the only marker of the period. Sparks picked up the puck on a turnover and went in one-on-one and beat goalie Liz Knox.
“Queen’s played us tough,” stated head coach RICK OSBORNE on the 96 minute and 35 second game. “We needed a game like this to prepare us as we continue along through the playoffs."
In the other provincial semifinal contest, Brock and Guelph had gone to two overtimes in the first of their best of three series with the Gryphons winning 3-2. The second game of the series takes place Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The Golden Hawks will next compete in the provincial championship best of three series. The first game will take place at Sun Life Arena, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex on Thursday, March 12th at 7:30 p.m.